the visible problem with invisible children

2 11 2006

EDIT ON MARCH 7, 2012: This post was originally written in 2006.  As you read and comment, please consider that it has been over 5 years since I wrote my thoughts here.  I personally still have the same concerns about IC that I did when I posted this and have chosen not to contribute to their cause.  However, Uganda continues to hold a very special place in my heart.  When I wrote this article, I supported and I continue to support relief efforts in Uganda through the work of Steve Hoyt at Engineering Ministries International (eMi), an organization with a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator.  If you’d like, you can support Steve’s work in Uganda here: https://emisecure.org/donate.html .  To  learn more about the work that eMi does in Uganda visit http://emiea.org/index.html.

Thanks for continuing to be a part of this important conversation.

James

Original Post:

Invisible Children (IC) swept the university campuses of America last year. The group wanted to mobilize college students to be aware of what happened in Uganda in recent years, the atrocious acts of Joseph Kony and his rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). I heard about Invisible Children for the first time when I was researching Uganda. I was immediately fascinated by their website. It’s very well done, but I noticed one thing. It lacked real information. If you haven’t seen the film or know nothing about their purpose, let me catch you up to speed with my version. Three clueless college kids head to Sudan with no plans and no idea about what they’re going to find. They’re looking for a “story”. They leave Sudan and make their way into Uganda. They find some bad stuff going on there. So they made a MTV-esque DVD about what was happening there. They wanted to draw attention to what they found.

So far, this sounds good. However, there is a major, major problem. I’m going to compare what IC is doing to an analogy that I thought of this past summer when I was Uganda thinking about this issue. Imagine that today you heard about what happened in NYC and Washington DC on September 11, 2001 for the first time. You were shown a video of footage from that day. You saw the planes hit the towers, you heard President Bush’s address, you saw the Pentagon wreckage, you watch in horror as you see people plunge to their death, jumping from the burning towers. Now imagine that you are inspired by this disaster. You want to something to help. What if you went to NYC today, expecting to see piles of rubble to clean up? What if you went, expecting that there would be thousands of people in the streets crying, looking for loved ones? But what would happen when you arrived and discovered that there was none of this, but a whole host of other problems?

And back to Uganda. Uganda is no longer experiencing violence from the LRA. Yes, I said it. It’s an uncomfortable truth, but it is a truth. For about the last year, since before IC hit the scene, Kony and his troops have been pushed into Congo, into the Garamba National Forest there. He’s sick, starving, and on his last legs. For the first time, Uganda is in the middle of real peace talks and the rebels have laid down their arms and are assembling to make peace. Why? This is happening because Joseph Kony was defeated. The Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) has beaten them back and Kony was sitting in Congo starving to death. Since March 2002, the UPDF has been allowed to carry out raids against the LRA into Southern Sudan and has even crossed into Congo, to the distress of most of the African community. Nonetheless, Operation Iron Fist, as this military offensive was called, has freed many child soldiers and sex slaves and brought them back to Uganda. The rebels again became very violent in 2003, but since 2004, the Ugandan government has been repeatedly beating the rebels and weakening them. Uganda is no longer allowed to enter Sudan or Congo to fight the LRA.

Invisible Children was founded in 2004, with the film crew filming in Uganda in 2003. Watching Invisible Children is watching old news. Will watching it alert you to what has occurred in Uganda? Yes, but it will not let you know what is happening there today.

Invisible Children is too late. It has taught us that MTV type media can get university students interested in a world crisis, the problem is it took too much time. Night commuting, outlined as one of the major problems in northern Uganda by the film, is practically non-existent now. Why? Peace is coming to the region. According to UN reports, children who still are commuting at night are not doing it because of safety concerns, but because they want to enjoy the amenities that NGO’s are offering in the towns, like Gulu, Kitgum, and Lira. At the peak of the commuting, there were between 30,000 and 40,000 children commuting. Now, estimates are below 10,000.

The scars of the 20 year conflict are everywhere in northern Uganda. I walked through internally displaced person (IDP) camps. I smelled, I listened, I saw, I touched, I tasted. I experienced Uganda. I saw people whose lives had been radically changed. I placed my hands on a woman whose lips had been cut off by the LRA. I walked with children whose parents had been killed. I sat on the foundation of a hut burned down by the LRA. I talked with people whose relatives had been abducted. I walked over land guarded by the UPDF. The landscape, the people, and the country itself has an immense burden to deal with.

Uganda has problems today. Their government is ridden with corruption. There are people still living in fear in IDP camps, afraid that violence will again return to their land. The education system is inadequate and many do not have the chance to go to school. For those who do work their way through the school system, there is a good chance that there will not be a job for them when they get even a university degree. Why doesn’t anyone want to do something about these problems? Why will thousands of people participate in IC’s Global Night Commute but not take the time to actually find out what is going on in Uganda today?

There have been many inspired to do more than just watch a DVD and sleep downtown for a night. However, that’s where we run into another problem. This summer, IC had a bunch of college students in northern Uganda wasting time and money. There were almost 30 people who were in Uganda this summer connected with IC and even more who were inspired to change the world and fly around it. That also sounds somewhat heart warming. Self centered American kids are flying around the world to change it. The catch is they don’t know what they are doing or where they are going. They are blindly making a problem worse by throwing thousands of dollars at something they don’t understand.

When I traveled into Southern Sudan, you could sense something was different there. There is a greedy spirit there that you can feel. Foreign aid had ruined South Sudan. People do not want to work, they want handouts. An entire generation has been cared for by the UN and other NGO’s. They are fed, clothed, protected, and sent to school without having to do anything. I walked through the market there and saw UNICEF tarps and blankets for sale. I could also buy Samaritan’s Purse shoe-boxes, filled with all sorts of American goodies. I thought back how I thought it was a good idea for me to send a shoebox filled with soap, toothpaste, bouncy balls, and a washcloth to a faraway land. What I realize now is that sending things, whether money, objects, or people to a place that I have no information on is a bad idea.

The problems that Uganda faces today cannot be fixed by hundreds of uneducated Westerners going there to “help”. As you read this article, think about how much you really know about the political situations in Uganda and throughout Africa that contribute to long lasting problems.

Africa as a whole needs to break free from foreign aid. Almost half of Uganda’s yearly budget is made up of foreign aid. I think that many of Uganda’s problems stem from its reliance on foreign support. If you want to read more on that, check out a Ugandan journalist named Andrew Mwenda. The aid to African nations is increasing the corruption there and encouraging these nations to continue this dependence on foreign nations and it does not encourage them to become totally self sufficient. When asked what rich nations should do to help Africa, Mwenda said,

So what is the solution? I’ve now written the first negative article I can find about Invisible Children. I also have suggested that we should think about cutting foreign aid and debt relief to African nations.

If you’ve seen the old news that Uganda has to offer and are disturbed, I encourage you to do some research and find out what is really going on in Uganda. I spent months before I went to Uganda researching the country. I talked to many people on the phone or with Skype, I emailed countless others, I read books, I monitored the news. If you want to find out what the situation is really like, find out. Don’t blindly fly yourself to a developing country like a Western idiot. I would also suggest finding out more about organizations that you support that work in foreign countries. Find out what their relationships are like with the local people and find out how they are grooming local people to take over their group. No aid organization should plan to be somewhere forever. If they do, they are not focused on solving the problem they are there to address.

Do not be fooled by slick video editing. Sleeping outside in downtown Pittsburgh will not help anyone who is still night commuting in northern Uganda. Perhaps you are now aware that there is a problem, perhaps you know that there is more to this world than just your country, your state, and your little hometown. What you may not know is that the US government is not going to get involved if it doesn’t benefit the American people. Remember Rwanda? It is up to you to figure out how to deal with this knowledge and the knowledge that your warm and fuzzy thoughts are not going to be the solution to this.

As of today, Uganda is still in a tedious peace process with the LRA, with both sides accusing each other of violating peace agreements. The good news is that they are still in the peace process and they’re doing it without the help of a foreign country that will attempt to benefit from the talks. Instead, using Rick Machar and South Sudan is helping to build ties with all those in that region. The LRA and the UPDF have now signed a second peace accord and hopefully this one will result in successful peace.

As I have written this over the past couple of months, I’m disappointed that I cannot offer a real solution to this problem. I wish that I had the answers for Uganda and those of you who are interested in doing something to help the people there. Unfortunately, I feel that I have done little more than to highlight problems there and then problems with our response to their problems. I learned so much while I was there, but I still have a lot that I can learn.


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696 responses

3 11 2006
Alanna

I agree with you about too much aid to Africa – or rather, too much thoughtless aid to Africa. We have talked about all this stuff in International Business this semester (I think you should talk to Dr. Hendrickson – you’d love him). A country will only prosper when the government puts in place policies (free trade and private property) that enable all of its people to participate in the business world. As Dr. Hendrickson likes to say, capital goes where it is treated best. Perhaps it’s a cliché but the Chinese proverb, “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.”
I hold what I think would be pretty unpopular views (though I suspect you would agree) on many kinds of short-term mission trips and also on foreign aid (basically what you said). I don’t think people like being told that what they think is being stirred up and doing something and being motivated really isn’t much help at all. I think a problem with our generation is that we are far too conceited to seek the counsel of our elders (since of course we are much hipper and wiser than they are). It’s an attitude that unfortunately prevails among Christians just as well as among non-Christians.
So… a jumble of thoughts, but basically: I agree.

7 03 2012
7 03 2012
GabbyG

Thank you for posting this video!

8 03 2012
Jake

You know what, I wouldn’t mind at all if a foreigner was walking into my home without permission to help me and my child, while my child was dying, because I couldn’t afford the medicine!
He got some points but he only mentions the people in Africa who doesn’t need help, it’s useless going to a little town trying to help them when they don’t need help. But there ARE people in Africa who is suffering from hunger, and need food, medicine, water, and HELP. What I get from what he states is, that you shouldn’t use your money on foreign aid, or volunteer in an aid program, which for me is wrong!

11 03 2012
Assz

What did we learn from the video? Don’t come uninvited and don’t think you have better ideas. Let’s see what the locals think of IC’s ideas:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/uganda/9131469/Joseph-Kony-2012-growing-outrage-in-Uganda-over-film.html

oh but wait, screw the locals! We know better! Let’s encourage military aggression in the unstable region! Just because that’s the only way you know how to solve problems, America, doesn’t mean that you can experiment with these tactics in a foreign counry

Idiotic as always

27 03 2012
Sethward

The truth behing Jason’s Freakout!!!

7 03 2012
Joe Kenny

Not necessarily true. There is evidence that Official Development Assistance is only effective when good policies are in place (See Burnside&Dollar, 2000). However, not only does subsequent literature dispute the credibility of this conclusion (see Easterly et al, 2003, and Hansen&Tarp, 2001) in terms of the Econometrics involved, but also points out that those countries with these “good policies” in place are likely to be the same countries that least need foreign assistance…

7 03 2012
Rob

Its one of the “keys”. Good universall insitutions. If you find this topic interesting, all of you who have commented here i would suggest to read.

Social traps and the problem of trust – Bo Rothstein

The Mystery of Economic Growth – Helpman

7 03 2012
Djuca Montero

I was born and raised in Indonesia in 92 and i see what you mean by thoughtless aid..
Indonesians are simple primitive minds bombarded with new technology.. (and so they become corrupt)
Invaders have caused a mess around here. But I’m an invader. I’m a WHITE man taking what is not mine.
I may think of myself as a local and only the ones who really know me will accept me as a local.. but to the rest, I’m just another “BULE” bringing more money to the country. Now a days they are raised from day one with the idea injected into their minds that we are white rich selfish people, so if they can get even 10.000 Rp.,- (1$) out of us, we did our job and we can leave..

Now I’m aware of the the situation in Uganda, Congo and Sudan is on another level. Yes you should only go where you are invited and only if you have an “OPEN” mind, Because you have never been there before, so no matter how well you read the news it will always be your first experience…
Good Vives ar always a better way and Love is always welcome but Ignorance is something we can only overcome by experience and openness. show the world and show yourself that you can Open up to it all… There are Two, even Three sides te every story…

7 03 2012
a.kam

I like your comment. I too am from Indonesia but have lived in Canada most of my life. When i have gone back i see exactly what you talk about in your post.

People cannot be ignorant when it comes to foreign aid. So many people have jumped on IC without knowing whats actually happening.

10 03 2012
Pod

Saying that Indonesians are “simple primitive minds” is kinda condescending, don’t you think? I’ve been to Indonesia, they are not first-world affluent but they’re not primitive either.

Don’t flatter yourself that you have brought civilization to the simple primitive minds and corrupted them. What is this, the 19th century?

7 03 2012
phred phnerd

I can’t believe they still teach those socialist proverbs in college.
Out in the “real” world the proverb goes: “Give a person a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a person how to create artifical scarcity in the fish market and he will eat steak for a lifetime”

8 03 2012
Joseph

The funny thing about your comment is that the “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day” is the basis of socialism, whereas “Teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life” is the basis of capitalism as it should be. Read Tocqueville and De Crevecoeur on the state of the American economy during the Colonial and post-Revolution eras. Immigrants with nothing to their name would come, a farmer would lend him tools, helps him build a house and lets him farm some of his land, and the immigrant would become successful, not by taking advantage of others, but simply through hard work and the skills learned from his neighbors. Sadly the agrarian idealism of Jefferson and others has long been irrelevant, and we must rely on business to survive.

9 03 2012
Hien

They need to move on with that phrase. Give the person a few fish AND teach them how to fish.

7 03 2012
Tina Liu

good article :) I am actually a full supporter of weaning off foreign aid in Africa as I have heard Africans say themselves that this needs to be the way of the future. it does fuel corruption and creates an accountability gap between African citizens and their politicians. however, I don’t think the point of KONY 2012 (not commenting on Invisible Children as a whole) is to throw a bunch of money at the problem (although I think it is right to set up schools). the point is the capture Kony by publicizing what he did, much like how we demanded Osama bin Ladin to pay for his war crimes against the U.S. I think that is the right thing to do. Invisible Children is, like any non-profit that wants to stay alive, promoting its own organization and monthly donations, but the emphasis of THIS campaign is awareness and not giving Africa more dependency aid.

once again, can’t generalize this to all organizations for Africa everywhere or for Invisible Children as a whole, but I can say that I fully endorse KONY 2012.

7 03 2012
Taylor

Completely agree 100%!!!!

7 03 2012
jackson hunt

I agree with you completely with you statements. I have been involved in foreign reliefs and rebuilding efforts in east africa, asia, northern Africa and central america. I have seen, tasted, and smelled the conflicts. I went to the kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya and have seen the result of these wars.

I can say for a fact that we Americans have created a generation of foreign dependency in that region. We need to stop throwing money at the problem and support organizations who are on the ground and working there day in and day out.

While I agree with everything this article is saying about IC and how they reputation is more self preserving than seeing work done, the fact remains that 32% of 8 million dollars was used. They are at least doing something…what can the rest of say.

I don’t personally give to IC. I have much better rated NGO and not-for-profits i support (http://www.kiberapendaproject.com/ for example)
The fact is that Kony 2012 campaign is to end the reign of a dictator. Abolishing the LRA and the Dictator who spent his life torturing children is something we can support (with out support the IC)

Its an awareness campaign, they aren’t asking for a pledge drive. If you choose to buy their merch, that is your own consciousness. We can support to take action against Kony. Regardless of their rating, they are trying to make the world a better place. Lets not get distracted ourselves.

– From someone who has been there, and personally knows the problems at hand. Supporter of Kony2012 not IC

7 03 2012
Leo

Well said,

And its important to keep n mind though its not just the man we should rid the world of, But its the ideals that deter us from human progress. Such as an osama bin laden or saddam hussein.

7 03 2012
Matt

how is it non profit when only 31% of the money they make actually goes to helping people?

7 03 2012
JG

I agree with your comment. This article seems to be accusing IC of doing what it is not. They are not just sending money and necessities to Uganda blindly. They even mention that the problem is no longer affecting Uganda primarily and that Kony has in fact moved north west. To the author: Get facts straight and don’t focus on being the first negative review to an organization who is actually trying to make a difference.

7 03 2012
Tricia McIntosh

Couldn’t have said it better myself! I am usually hesitant to support such a cause as well, but I have hope in the idea that there are still genuinely good hearted, inspired people in this world who are willing to sacrifice their money and time with loved ones of their own to make a difference in others lives, no matter how big or small that may be. Keep the faith and raise awareness. KONY 2012!

7 03 2012
NGG

COMPLETELY agree with Tina Liu. This article was very informative and I am glad I read it. But the KONY 2012 movie is not about getting money. Also, I felt like the movie was not about Uganda either, it was about Kony and the things that he did. It was about raising awareness and frankly I think this movie served it’s purpose very well. The message that I also got from this movie is that people have voices and can do something about any issue happening around the world. It send a powerful and inspiring message and just because the message came from a criticized organization does not mean that we should boycott the message. I may not be a fan of IC as a whole, but I am a fan of the amount of awareness that they have raised and the message that they send in the movie.

8 03 2012
tink13

Exactly my thoughts.

This is about letting people know about Kony and bringing him to justice.

9 03 2012
rorri

who cares what you think ..

7 03 2012
akbar
7 03 2012
Eric

Hello im 19 and im a soldier. I have quick question about all this though. i know we can help by giving money and all, and that’ll raise awareness. but once the politicians are aware, what then? How do you think theyll go about doing this? by saying “hey you. your under arrest?” and he’ll just say “you got me guys my bad, I wont do it again?” OR will they send over troops? Looks like they already have. Maybe send more. and then what? we start having kids fire on us, and fighting us. personally if im getting shot at, im most likely not gonna stand their i may shoot back. dont get me wrong i think the guy should be stopped. but “stop at nothing?” i think we should have limitations.

7 03 2012
Random Person

The donations need to shift to infrastructure advancements and basic durable tools to allow for sufficient food creation.

7 03 2012
Dakota Ruse

The reason the invisible children are still after Joseph Kony is not because he is continuing to harm Uganda. The real reason is so Joseph Kony can pay for his past crimes! In the past Joseph Kony assembled an army of 30,000 by force and is being held responsible for the killing that took place by his forced army. That is why he is number 1 on that list!
Not because he continues to murder and kidnap children, Because he still has not served for his past crimes!

8 03 2012
7 03 2012
Caty Lessard

that is ridiculous there is never too much aid to africa would u like to see ur child die from starvation well i think people should give their money to people in need they need the money more than we do would u rather save a child or have an ipad i think saving a child is more important than a stupid ipad sure ipads are great but humans are humans no difference between weather they live in africa or they are wealthy americans they are still people and if we can help them they deserve a better life than the one they have they may be poor and they may smell bad but they deserve the same chance at life as you.

8 03 2012
stever

In response to what you are saying about dying from starvation. That is not longer a epidemic problem in Africa as it once was. Most Africans receive the daily required nutrients for survival, even though it may be the bare minimum.

8 03 2012
RPM

Though your heart is in the right place, your understanding of this complex issue is naive. As someone that has worked with welfare recipients, I can promise you that 90% of them eventually stop trying to make it on their own. Instead, they learn to believe they deserve to be taken care of – welfare changes their mindset entirely. I’ve seen it over and over again.

Why? Because humans innately need to feel a sense of accomplishment to continue to grow in spirit and mind. When you take away goals, you take away their feelings of pride and self-worth, leaving them with nothing…except free stuff.

Case in point – did you know that American groups have installed water filtration systems throughout Africa? Guess what happened? Within months, the systems were either destroyed or broken. The villagers didn’t think it was their job to keep up the systems. The same has been found with farming, animal husbandry, etc. These people are poor because many have chosen to remain poor – even when enough materials, animals, seeds and water have been provided for them to ensure decades of fresh food. Instead, they fight amongst themselves “stealing” the free stuff, hoarding it, etc.

When we “train” the poor to believe that they are owed, they fail to progress beyond their current situation. We are “loving” them to death.

8 03 2012
theonlyadrienne

You’re an idiot. I’m sorry. I know that’s poor form in a relatively intelligent article like this, but come on. “they may be poor and they may smell bad…” No.

8 03 2012
Marie

So we should just sit around and do nothing? At what point would you want to help make a change in any way you could? Would it take another Holocaust? I see nothing wrong in spreading awareness where there is a need. I read all the info. On IC and the criticism and all I hear is a bunch of nay sayers. The bottom line… Awareness pre-emotes change.

11 03 2012
Missy Gibbon

Thank you…. AWARENESS is the key. I wish people would stop criticizing Jason Russell and IC when they have 100% GOOD INTENTIONS and just want to make the world AWARE of the issues in Africa that 99% of Americans are not. By making us aware, then we can choose to do nothing or choose to educate ourselves and become a part of something bigger than ourselves!!! He is not forcing anyone to do anything. If you do not want to be a part of it, don’t watch the video, don’t donate, and “change the channel.” :)

8 03 2012
Amy

Just interested in your thoughts on this charity regarding your comment “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime”…All the best.

http://practicalaction.org/?utm_source=S000&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=C10105&gclid=CMbM6t-k164CFUcntAodgjAkbA

8 03 2012
Juliet

why seek counsel with the older generation when they couldnt stop the man decades ago?? have they changed their minds/tactics? or values? do they now care about this man who’s killing thousands in some country far away?
as for the government-which uganda doesnt really have an efficient or people focussed one of- how would we improve that? hostile takeover as older generations have done in the past?
hipper and wiser we may be but that doesnt mean that we shouldnt also be creating our way of doing things. after all, our history isnt so great that we should be asking for advice from people who had so many wars, so many screw-ups and no way of fixing them for our generation.

9 03 2012
Trin

first – never compare new york city to uganda. very poor reference. new york cleaned up and cleaned up quick because it’s new york. uganda is not in the same league.

secondly – don’t send shit to faraway places unless you know what the fuck’s going on. how obnoxious of him to say that. it’s how people connect/reach out/do their bit to help in the small way they can. don’t knock it.

foreign aid is not a bad thing. but it is bad when it doesn’t get to the people who actually need it. and there are plenty of people who need it.

he wants to write a ‘negative’ article about an organization that brought joseph kony to the ears of many people such as myself – why? so he can say he is the only expert on this subject. ass.

his message also: don’t fly to a foreign country like a lame ass dumb american. well – we all fly around the world to different countries like dumb people not knowing the place – that’s why we go.

and finally, he finishes with “i don’t have a solution – i don’t know what to do”. but i thought you are clearly stating in this article what an expert you are?!! and telling people what they should do and not do???! and how ‘invisible children’ are not going about this the right way???
but you don’t know what to do now that you’ve completely bashed them… so what the fuck is your article really about?

clearly, you just want an opportunity to slag off ‘invisible children’ and show off your invaluable knowledge and expertise which actually boils down to nothing. you don’t have the answers. and there i was thinking you were the expert.. you’ve been to uganda. you’ve talked to the people. therefor you have the right to talk for the people there.

really?!

9 03 2012
Trin

first – never compare new york city to uganda. very poor reference. new york cleaned up and cleaned up quick because it’s new york. uganda is not in the same league.

secondly – don’t send shit to faraway places unless you know what the fuck’s going on. how obnoxious of him to say that. it’s how people connect/reach out/do their bit to help in the small way they can. don’t knock it.

foreign aid is not a bad thing. but it is bad when it doesn’t get to the people who actually need it. and there are plenty of people who need it.

he wants to write a ‘negative’ article about an organization that brought joseph kony to the ears of many people such as myself – why? so he can say he is saying he is the only expert on this subject. ass.

his message also: don’t fly to a foreign country like a lame ass dumb american. well – we all fly around the world to different countries like dumb people not knowing the place – that’s why we go.

and finally, he finishes with “i don’t have a solution – i don’t know what to do”. but i thought you are clearly stating in this article what an expert you are?!! and telling people what they should do and not do???! and how ‘invisible children’ are not going about this the right way???
but you don’t know what to do now that you’ve completely slagged them off? so what the fuck is your article about?
clearly, you just want an opportunity to slag off ‘invisible children’ and show off your invaluable knowledge and expertise which boils down to nothing.

shut up.

9 03 2012
rorri

Too much aid to Africa?? Are you an idiot! The US and the world will be forever indebted to Africa because of the slave trade. They built this country and have fought and died in this country so why not help when they’re in need. Not to mention all of the other European countries have stolen many natural resources from Africa and have greatly benefited for centuries. Western nations wouldn’t be this powerful without Africa’s contribution. PLEASE STFU!!

22 06 2013
Rental Mobil Semarang

I also agree with this great opinion, this is beautiful :)

29 11 2006
poststop

Great thoughts. Challies.com reviewed the DVD here. It was not super positive either.

http://www.challies.com/archives/001620.php

2 12 2006
Sam

I really think that there can never be to much Aid to Africa. People like invisiblecildren are going over there and helping. I agree with you about how there is peace now in Uganda but it is a pore country and the money that is spent to help the nightcomuters now gos to children over there to go to school and recover from what they have lost. I really dont think you can say that we should not send any more help to Africa. One person can make a diffrence in so many lifes what if its a docter going to Africa to help stop the spread of aids. Even if that doctor halps one person I think it would be totle worth the time and effort took to get over there. I dont think we should ever stop helping pople in africa or here in the states!!

29 08 2011
michael

helping people is one thing, but the invisible children do not even send 50% of their revenue to Africa, the make about $9million in donations and send over $3million don’t donate through invisible children find a real non profit organization that helps the people of africa (or wherever) in a better way that gives you (mainly them) more bang for your buck, if you will.

7 03 2012
Nancy

Thank you for the article.
Though may I ask where you got this information about how they don’t even send 50% of their revenue to Africa? Have you been part of Invisible Children before or have you heard from people etc?

7 03 2012
PBCrock

Why didn’t you post 1…So many negative statements; so what if they are only giving 3mil and making 9 or what ever you said.Help is help and to suggest that the only way to help any situation is to help it perfectly is silly.Do what ever you are compelled to do and don’t worry about the rest. That’s 3mil more than they had…Grow up struggle a bit and get back to me.If you haven’t ever had a missed meal cramp you’ll never get it.And if you had 1 then use that as you reference.

7 03 2012
Will

I understand there system isn’t perfect, but to keep with bringing in donations they have to do something and that is in the form of advertising and speeches, money goes to air fare to travel state to state and to different countries, they need money for proper production of video’s so on and so forth which builds up over time, to think that any charity organization is perfect is delusional, do some do it better than others yes, but that doesn’t stop IC from continuing to provide support.

And on the topic of the LRA not being in Uganda anymore I don’t think that is the point anymore (even though they are active in other countries which people seem to overlook, until they are all dead they can rebuild). What it is now is bringing a man to justice and setting an example of what countries need to do to step up and stop men like Kony from doing these blatant acts of terrorism, and the last time i checked mass genocide’s still happen on a frequent basis in Africa, and Kiny is the first step to stop what is haopppening.

7 03 2012
Rach

After reading many of the comments I cant help feeling that the point has been slightly missed.

This charity has only recently come to my attention and watching the video did affect me emotionally, however what I took from the video was that they wanted awareness raised, not masses of money. My understanding of the organisation was to raise the awareness of the world to this situation so that soldiers will continue to support (not take over) the Ugandan army and stop kony. In this circumstance surely you could expect for large proportions of money to be spent of advertising and awareness raising.

I dont pretend to know everything about the situation in uganda or the facts about how IC’s money is spent, but surely if this is the aim and if by the end of the year something good can come of it, then this makes it a worthwhile charity/organisation.

Change takes time, and it needs people to support and back it for it to happen.

7 03 2012
Pythosblaze

Punctuation is your friend. Just sayin’.

7 03 2012
Nick Encarnacion

@Nancy Invisible Children is a registered not-for-profit organization. Their finances are public. “Last year, the organization spent $8,676,614. Only 32% went to direct services (page 6), with much of the rest going to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production. ” — http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com/

You can check the article on the link for more details regarding how and where they might have spent the remaining 6 million dollars. The article greatly supports the one written here.

7 03 2012
Kelly

It’s not a charity, they are offering materials to promote awareness.. for $30 you get a t-shirt, a bracelet, stickers and posters to further awareness… The goal is to flush out Kony so that he becomes a household name and eventually flushed out of hiding.

7 03 2012
Fred Fighter

Invisible Children’s primary mission is to publicize the atrocities. That is why more than half their budget goes to filmmaking and other publicity.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/www.invisiblechildren.com/critiques.html

FF

7 03 2012
Charles

Sam,

I apologize if I sound harsh, but I feel I must make this point.
I understand that your worldview has been shaped by your experiences in life (and I agree with you in that we should be helping others), but you have missed the point of the article. The writer wasn’t trying to keep people from donating, or otherwise helping, people in less developed countries, but making the point that before we do, we need to think about the consequences of our actions (whether it really will help them or not) and perhaps take a more pragmatic approach in foreign aid.

Also, judging from your writing (pore, totle, halp), my guess is that your misconception arises from the fact that you are either not fluent in english or just poorly read and rather uneducated. So please, next time you take a stance on any subject, read up on it, study it, and take the time to really understand it.

8 03 2012
Kaitlin

Touché, Charles. Touché.

8 03 2012
Ish

Just because he has poor grammar on that one comment doesn’t mean he is uneducated. He is just expressing his opinion and he is rightfully doing so.
I would just ask you this one question Charles: what is your solution? Criticizing other’s opinion will surely not make anything better. But that is just my humble opinion.
I lived in Africa for most of my life, and let me tell you that Africa needs help on the short term before its population can think about stability on the long term. It’s easy to say that African countries should be more politically and economically independent and that foreign aid won’t solve corruption. It’s easy to have such an opinion when your belly is full.
I do not pretend to have a solution to this problem. But KONY 2012 and innocent children’s initiatives are the only real steps toward finding a solution, as much as people will deny it.
And yes, I am a “foreigner”, so excuse me if I sound “uneducated”
Best Regards.

8 03 2012
Ish

And I meant Invisible Children (sorry, I’m uneducated)

16 04 2012
Cattycat67

Can u say condescending?

27 02 2007
James (not the author of the original article)

Sam,

While I hate to suggest that your opinions aren’t helping to push the issue, I’d say that they certainly do shed a gleam of light on the caliber of person who pushes for more assistance without researching the facts.

Doctors going to Africa won’t stop the spread of AIDS. There is no cure for AIDS. They can’t stop it in the US, they can’t stop it in Europe, and they certainly can’t stop it in Africa. The problem is that every person that Doctor helps to extend the life of by say 3 or 4 years, someone in the US isn’t being treated. It doesn’t follow that providing an unearned higher standard of living before the country has organized to receive it will solve their problems. It is the same with people in the US who lose high paying jobs. They go broke paying off Corvettes, million dollar houses, and expensive meals out. They go broke because they’re addicted to the benefits of their previous high status. While it sounds terrible, it’s the same problem here as there. A person used to receiving free aid has been cut off at the knees. Once you’ve convinced a man that it is ok to spend a life begging, he is ruined.

What right do you have to agree about whether or not there is peace in Uganda? Your comments here cheapen the experience of the author who spent blood, sweat, and tears in there. The author spent time and effort bringing his/her experience out for the world, and you throw your shoddy, half thought opinions and feelings on it with all the discrimination of thought of a chimpanzee in an art gallery. Please, if you’re going to raise concerns, have a logical point or at least a spellcheck. Take a formal logic course, read a book, do your own research please before you even ATTEMPT to disagree with a person who has first hand personal experience to reason from, especially on a topic as important as this.

My apologies on the narrative, but comments as above are more offensive through their pure thoughtlessness than anything direct could be.

-James (again, not the same James who wrote the original article)

7 03 2012
Zach

Just want to point out that “stopping the spread of” and “curing” are not the same thing. For example, a quarantine is a process designed to stop the spread of a disease (regardless of its effectiveness) but that doesn’t mean that the people within the quarantine are magically cured. A cure may eventually be found for those who have been quarantined but thats beside the point. Stopping the spread in Africa is to reduce the amount of people that contract the disease, not to cure the people already existing with the disease.

Also, if you are referring to Sam’s comments being ‘offensive’, i have no idea how you reach that conclusion. There is nothing offensive in his opinion at all, in fact, there are no insults or attacks in his reply.

Finally, don’t try to bolster your argument by saying that his English is bad, it might not be his first language so cut him some slack. You would still want your point made if you posted a comment on a forum in a different language.

7 03 2012
Gavin

I’d like to point something out here. I have had first hand experience with trying to stop the spread of AIDS in the third world. A company I work for was paid Millions to build software and infrastructure to help expedite diagnoses, track spreading, and try to help victims of AIDS. However, this is where the good news ends. First and foremost, we got everything set up, it took almost three times as long to set up the infrastructure as expected because the underlying infrastructures weren’t there. The power flows were insufficient, communication lines were unreliable if existent, etc, which was all in direct opposition to what their government had told us during development. But ok, so we did it. Designing all the software became harder and harder as we discovered that when you get hired by an international organization, to work across borders, you HAVE TO (it’s the law), apply all standards and requirements for both countries, even when they contradict. For example, check out the US and Canadian standards and guidelines for Medicine and Law, and that’s just North America, as you cross oceans, it gets worse. And then came the worst part, the maintenance. We were expected to train people who had never touched a computer to maintain complex servers and their interconnections, and even be able to upgrade them when needed. Now when I say “never touched a computer”, I mean, when one of them called their trainer to start the training day, and was asked to “Turn on the computer in front of you.”, they had to ask “How?” Now, for the heart-breaking truth. After all of that, after months and years of hard work, after the blood, sweat and tears of our team went into getting everything working for them, with a sole purpose in mind to save lives. They don’t use it. We built it, and they don’t come. The doctors who signed on to work with this system aren’t bothering to log things in the system, they just keep it to themselves. They don’t run the tracking reports, because there’s almost nothing in them. And why is there nothing in them you ask? Because doctors don’t share! Ever tried to get your doctor to ship your full medical record to another doctor’s office? Well it’s no better in the third world. Our system was built to help ALL doctors in the country work TOGETHER to track the AIDS epidemic, and try to work TOGETHER to at least slow it down. But no. Everyone wants to be THE ONE, the saviour of the people, the one who finds THE CURE. And that’s why foreign aid of any kind is difficult. We can be giving because we have, but those who don’t get greedy. It’s the nature of man. Take what you will from this story, but I can safely say, I will not put my heart into saving a country again. If I want to save a child from poverty, I will go there, hand them some cash, and take them to school.

7 03 2012
Mymmy

Zach – Just want to say that there is no excuse for English (or any language) like that. He can obviously speak English on a near advanced level and nobody at that level should have such awful spelling. If he wants his point made he should make a point to make it understandable. Anybody learning a language should pay attention to the spelling.

‘Offensive’ doesn’t need to consist of insults or attacks. It can just be disgusting or inappropriate (in lots of ways). For me butchering someone else’s language is a pretty offensive thing to do. So don’t pretend you’re the authority on offensiveness.

That guy obviously has no clue about anything but just spitting out things like ‘Dr.s in Africa and AIDS etc etc’. What the hell are you defending?

8 03 2012
Ash

I agree 100% ZACH. Even if English is SAM’s first language, not everyone has had the right to a good education. The fact that someone isn’t a good writer/speller shouldn’t have anything to do with them voicing their views. I had no trouble reading it MYMMY, if you had trouble maybe it isn’t SAM you should be worried about…?

James (not the author of the original article): “Doctors going to Africa won’t stop the spread of AIDS.”, Really? All education by doctors, about aids its going to ‘help stop the spread of AIDS. SAM didn’t say cure, he said help stop.
James (not the author of the original article): “The problem is that every person that Doctor helps to extend the life of by say 3 or 4 years, someone in the US isn’t being treated.” This statement disgusts me! What makes people in the US any better then the rest of the world? Your a cruel snob! People like you make this world so bloody hard to live in!

Also guys, you are getting distracted! Like DAKOTA so many have said before, KONY needs to pay for his crimes. He may not being committing them in the large scale he was anymore, but justice needs to be served for the pain he has caused. And who’s to say he’s retired for good???

Here here RACH! I think IC are doing a great job! They are making the public aware of a serious issue. They are trying – and from what I can see, bloody hard – to help them out and stop the suffering. As for the “only 35% going over, what happens to the rest blah blah blah”, who do you think pays for their flights to go over there and help? The materials to build the buildings, schools, and towers etc? Do you expect it all to come out of their own pockets? People are worried about too much help but we have to understand that they aren’t just throwing 3million at them and saying “Good luck! Hope it helped” they are doing what they can through building up the community and educating them so they can help themselves.

Sorry for writing so much but I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and bickering and fighting over trivial things isn’t helping anyone. Stop being nasty and be supportive! Try to contribute information that might help and encourage people to try and make a difference :)

7 03 2012
Henry

Dude you’re mean… I don’t think ignorance is more insulting than actually insulting. Everybody should learn to love everybody otherwise we got our own problems to fix :D
And I just wanted to ask you and all others (forgive me if I’m being ignorant) whether suddenly cutting off support will help that much? Surely as this aid has already been provided, to take it away would be devastating? Have you considered all the alternatives and weighed them against your argument? I don’t pretend to know anything about this situation in detail but I just want to understand logically as best I can. It seems everyone’s points are going back and forth. Maybe we need to think outside the box; surely it’s not all black and white, ‘aid’ or ‘no aid’. Or perhaps we should just consider that blogging about this stuff does nothing anyway? At least a movement like Kony 2012 gets people thinking in the right direction (or any direction) and gets something done.
Please don’t insult me for this response, after all I’m just a silly westerner trying to help/understand the world.

7 03 2012
Dalia

I know this is completely beside the important points, but the “butchering the English” argument? Really? First of all, I’d like to point out that the original poster sounds like it could be a child or a teen from his post (I apologize if he’s not a child, that’s just the sense I got from it). Second, I’m an American living in Montreal, I know what it’s like to be made fun of for getting words wrong or being misunderstood, and no it is not his fault if “he is at a high level of language proficiency but cannot spell”. If you had ever been forced to converse in a language you weren’t comfortable in, you would be sensitive to that.

8 03 2012
Ash

Henry,
Thanx for that :) I enjoyed your comment & agree 100%. Things that have been done cant be taken back but maybe changing the way we think and finding alternative ways of helping will make a difference :)

1 03 2007
30 03 2007
Mike

James, assaulting those who post comments on the site is indeed petty and shallow.

While he might not have the experience that the author has, it doesn’t mean his opinion isn’t valued. In fact, your arguments are shallow and not well thought out.

Not all Doctors go to Africa to stop the aids epidemic, many go because they do not have the resources or expertise to take care of their own populations. Your argument says extending the life of an African for 3 to 4 years is comparable to .com era losers who have to file bankrupt, which is, disgusting. You can have your opinion on whatever you want, but i fail to see how you can comment on someone else’s given that yours is so callous.

And what about schooling? most schooling in uganda is private and must be paid for by the students- what of those students without parents? without money? Should i, an american, jsut give up and say “too bad” while i watch TV? how about i take some money and send it to uganda and allow someone to at least get a little bit more of an education?

I agree that the country will need to pick itself up, i agree that american can’t fund them forever, but as a human i feel i have an obligation to help others in the most need, agree or not, it’s my opinion.

i realize i’m posting this far later than it was written, but i saw it from a search and felt the need to say soemthing in the presence of such “logical” thinking. Take a course on ethics, not just logic and argument… or spelling.

7 03 2012
Mymmy

Mike, maybe you should take some of your own advice about commenting on other people’s opinions and stop preaching ethics. So, James’ arguments were shallow and not well thought out, but Sam’s were completely A OK with you because he was being nice to everybody??? What the hell? Disagree with whoever you want but don’t be such a goddamned hypocrite, telling him not to ‘assault’ anybody and then calling him petty and disgusting. CONSISTENT.

30 03 2007
reallybadeggs

Thank you for posting the first negaitive thing i’ve seen EVER about IC. They’ve been touring around high schools lately. I’ve watched the video several times in class. They’re selling T-shirts at my school for 10 dollars. Before i jumped on the bandwagon, and bought one, I went to the Invisible children website with hopes of finding out what my money would go towards. Unfortuantely, just like you said, the sight has no real information, what they tell is very basic, and didn’t answer any of my questions. They simply say that 86% of funds were directed toward program and program-related costs. Which in my opinion, isn’t even a real asnwer.
Whats even worse is that no one at my school who supports it knows where their money is going either. Everyone thinks they’re helping to save the “child soldiers”, but its actually going to our sister school in Uganda through “Schools For Schools.” No one seems to know about this. I was wondering if you could tell me whats really going on with Schools for Schools, and if its a worth-while project.
From watching the video, I’ve gathered that around 40, 000 (which according to your article isn’t even accurate anymore) commuters every night, and that to help these children we should donate our money?

More recently, a representative from IC in California came to my school for an assembly. We were shown ANOTHER video, about a boy and his family, in Uganda. Both of his parents die from AIDS. We watch him get tested and the results come back negative. The whole school cheers. The rep. From IC asks us “if that video moved us?” and says less than 3 minutes about how “no child should be invisible again” and how “we’re going across the country to make a difference”(just very general stuff) Now this video has nothing to do with the original one being shown around my school, and I’m left wondering why they showed us, because not once did the speaker say why, or what Invisible Children is about. So this leaves me thinking that now, maybe our money goes to HIV/AIDS treatment/research in Uganda? Not once at this assembly was “schools for schools” mentioned.

Now here’s where I get really confused. People running the Invisible Children club at my school are saying that only 10% of proceeds are going to reach these children. If this is true, then I’m wondering where the other 9 dollars of every t-shirt sold is going. No one I’ve talked to so far is able to answer any of these questions. You seem like you’re more qualified to talk about this subject then the IC reps themselves. I’m the only one I know who’s actually looking into this further than just watching the video and blindly paying for a shirt.

If you could clear up any of this for me, I would greatly appreciate it, and hopefully through that be able to educate at least a few friends on this subject a bit further.

7 03 2012
Matt

In relation to your comment about IC profit – I have bought things from them several times and my receipt is always attached with the following message – We appreciate your purchase. 100% of the money from your purchase goes to the area of greatest need, including our protection and rehabilitation work in Central Africa and spreading awareness about the conflict around the world.

Whilst I appreciate that doesn’t specify the exact use of the money – I sleep better knowing that it is used to help someone, somewhere rather than stewing in my back account waiting for my next mcdonalds run.

7 03 2012
Marc

If the area of greatest need doesn’t mean anything. You could essentially be paying for their next Mcdonald’s run if they deem their hunger the area of greatest need. I hate that this is true, but it is what it is.

7 03 2012
Matt

Being an NGO their finances are made public.
They made around $9,000,000 last year. Only 34% of their profits went to actual “services”, where did the rest go?
Lsited as Staff wages, equiptment, travel and media..

8 03 2012
Ash

@reallybadeggs, you’re paying $10 for a T-shirt that when worn brings a serious issue to peoples attention. Lets say it may cost them 65% of the money to make the shirt, the other 35% goes over seas…ease your mind a little bit? Lol. All I can say is it’s $10, it isn’t going to break your budget and it’s going towards a good cause. No one is forcing you to pay it, or spend money at all for that matter. All they are asking you to do is tell people about the issues (you don’t even have to say IC’s name if you don’t want) I’m sure they wont mind, as long as the world is made aware of this issue :)

16 03 2012
robmorganaust

But, if you’d given the $10 to this charity:

http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=8392

… you could be confident that $8.60 went directly to the beneficiary, more than double what you get with IC.

And the effectiveness of the aid delivery matters as well – do your own research on how well IC rates in that department – not well.

10 06 2007
James (not the author)

Mike, I’m going to attempt to go point by point here. Lets start with your dissertation over my calling Sam’s post basically useless and cheap.

Whether or not Sam’s posts are valued are of little or no consequence as they’re directly related to the reader’s ability to absorb useful information. Whether they are of any real value is another story. I could provide information pulled out of my rear and it could still be valued by another person. The problem is that his post is of completely no value objectively. Let me give an example. I’ll use engineer. If I were to walk up to an engineer and tell him his device wouldn’t work, no matter how many times he’d used them in the past, or what laws of physics he was following, he’d ask me for an explanation. If I were to tell him, “because I don’t think it will” he’d ask me what experience I have with engineering. When I tell him, “I don’t have any, but it’s my opinion that it will fail” he’d tell me to get lost. The author of this piece has personal experience with the subject matter. Sam, the poster, obviously has had no such experience. Sam also writes as if he were writing English phonetically. This leads me to believe that Sam doesn’t do much in depth story of the issues at hand here. THIS finally leads me to believe that Sam’s post does nothing to further the discussion and is insulting to the author, as it is EXACTLY what he is writing about.

What I was posting wasn’t pure opinion based drivel. You talk of emotions, I talk of logical solutions. How will your emotions pull a desolate country out of economical distress? Will you send them your goodwill? Your heartfelt sympathy? I’m sure they appreciate it while they starve. Maybe you will send them money, as you know they’re in need. This will help them for a week. They will eat and then go back to starving, waiting for the next poor soul to save them from their plight. Do I have any problem with doctor’s going to Uganda and trying to help? Based on your argument that they’re too incompetent to have a practice here in America, I don’t at all. Whether or not you’re disgusted by the situation is of little to no consequence. I’ve seen what money does to people who aren’t prepared for it. Look how many children squander the money of their parents. Look at the nations who are bottomless holes of need. You tell me there is no common root here? I agree with you Mike. The situation IS disgusting, but what is more disgusting is the refusal to look at it without saying, “Awww, look at the little children who need help.” Because everyone needs help Mike. How much do you donate per year? How much aid do you send to China, where there are over a billion people, many of them in need. Or how about the other African countries? What of them? Do you donate to them all? How do you decide who is “most” in need? Do you look at surveys? How much time do you spend? Or is there maybe just a convenient solution with terribly disturbing images of children being sent to war.

You speak of the schooling of children in Uganda being private. I can’t really disagree with people spending money to send orphans to school can I? I am, of course, assuming you’re only donating to orphans, as that’s the extenuating circumstance you push forward. I’m glad you care so much about them, as no once else seems to. That “little bit” more of an education is the most likely thing to solve the problems of education. Allowing the Ugandan government to not nationalize schools to educate their people while Americans pay for them is certainly a great decision. I’m not saying you should give up and say, “Too bad.” I’m saying you should look at the situation and realize who is at fault. While Americans fund the schools of Uganda, do you really think the Ugandan government will say, “Oh jeez, that’s not right, this hurts our pride too much to have Americans solving all of our problems. We know what to do, lets reappropriate some funds from the war budget and send it to children in need of education so the Americans can give their money to someone else!”

Yep, I’m sure they’re in that meeting right now, saying just those words.

You tell me to take a course in ethics. You say that logic and reasoning aren’t everything. You tell me that your opinions are just that, opinions, and they can’t be argued or proven false. But they can be. Do you ever stop to think of what kind of “need” these people really need? Do you really think your dollars will help this problem? That they won’t exascerbate it further? Does praising a spoiled child improve his behavior? These people need reform and industry. Not your handouts. Your emotions won’t build that for them. Logistical planning will. You call me callous and claim I’m unfeeling. By your arguments, you must hand out money to every disdainful beggar on the streets, leaving only your bare bread and milk for the day. Because someone always needs it more than you Mike.

This isn’t my forum and I apologize to the author for the longwinded diatribe. Mike, if you’d like to continue this further, or anyone else for that matter, my myspace page is posted. Please send me a message and we can debate this further privately.

19 02 2012
Anon

The fact that you felt the need to write all of that with such an aggressive manner means you have too much time on your hands. Heating up a virtual debate with your fascist mindset and opinion is changing Uganda just as much as Invisible children or any other charity programs. Have you personally been to any country in Africa, or do you just get all your resource and “well rounded” knowledge from reading books and statistics?

7 03 2012
Trijo

The fact that your main grievance was with his tone, and the that the rest of your post is a collection of baseless accusations and assertions, would indicate that perhaps YOU have too much time on your hands to anonymously troll.

7 03 2012
Mymmy

The fact that you felt the need to involve yourself in that conversation in that condescending manner means you have too much time on your hands. Telling people who are not trying to change Uganda with a virtual debate that their virtual debate is not changing Uganda is a really useful thing. Also, fuck books and statistics. Burn it all. Tourism is where you get real knowledge. Good points. We all thank you.

7 03 2012
Thomas

James,
James,

I do not object to your seemingly well-informed comments as to the lack of effectiveness and efficiency of some foreign aid programs, in particular Invisible Children. However I do object to the way you approach the issue of foreign aid, and I question the logic with which you derive your condemnations.

First of all, do you really believe that for every person who gets treated for HIV/AIDS in Africa, someone in the US goes without treatment? Because this is a total falsehood, and there are facts to back it up. Effective lobbying from the WHO has caused a dramatic drop in HIV/AIDS drug prices in the past 10 years, which are now estimated at $159 per person per year (2011). These types of drugs in fact cost less in poor countries: “Negotiations with Big Pharma have led to a system of ‘tiered’ pricing. Tiered pricing means that the price at which the big pharmaceutical companies sell their drugs is calculated using formulas based on average income per head, leading to lower prices in poor countries” (avert.org). More people can be treated in developing countries than in the US for the same amount of money. In addition to that a huge percentage of the population in a country like Uganda cannot afford medicines such as HIV drugs: in 2009, 38% of the population in Uganda lived on less than $1.25 per day, less than $457 per year (worldbank.org).

You also claim that funding education is pointless, because it is simply a needless expense with no conclusive goals, just like giving the man the proverbial fish. But you’re wrong, education is the very first step to social, economic, and ultimately political change in a country. It isn’t so simple as handing a kid in Africa a wad of cash and telling him to make a life for himself, it is giving him a way out, and an opportunity where there would never have been one: it is teaching him to fish for himself. I personally have been to Nicaragua as part of a sister-city project, where we provided school supplies directly to schools and scholarship money so that 26 students from the Filipo Lopez barrio of La Paz Centro could go to school. Just like in the poorest countries of Africa, and in fact most countries all over the world, schools in Nicaragua are not government funded, because the government has no interest in educating and empowering its people: It is ignorant to suggest that schools would be free and paid for entirely by the government if foreign aid groups stopped paying for private schooling.

It is useless to renounce all charities and foreign aid organizations just because you disagree with one of them, and it is equally pointless and shallow to justify lack of action on your part by pointing a finger at a lack of action action on someone else’s part. to quote your myspace page, “excellence in life is extremely important. Never do anything half-assed. We only get one life to live, and coasting through it is a complete waste. Find the things you love to do, and be the best in the world at them.” Perhaps you should leave Dirty Rocks behind and follow your own words. Get out there, experience the world for yourself, and then do what you believe is right – you might be surprised how much better it feels to work and make a difference than it does to make excuses for not trying.

sources:
“AIDS, Drug Prices and Generic Drugs.” AVERT. Avert.org, 2012. Web.
7 Mar. 2012. .
“Poverty Headcount Ratio at $1.25 a Day (PPP) (% of Population).”
The World Bank. Worldbank.org, 2009. Web. 07 Mar. 2012.
.

7 03 2012
Anon

I am reading the majority of these comments arguing over both sides and not even once have I seen a suggestion for a solution. The Invisible Children is taking action, even if it is not as it is directly portrayed in the video. So instead of personally attacking each other, do something to make a difference. Do something than just sit behind your computer and bicker. I have been researching both sides and I am siding with the Invisible Children. I am taking action in my community.
Someone said that you can feed a person your sympathy or emotion. Use that emotion and sympathy to do something. Also it was mentioned earlier that giving aid is not going to help. Giving aid will help but it is how it is administered. The governments are corrupt and since Kony has been around for 20 plus years with the LRA the problem is still not fixed. Kony has been in talks of peace with the government plenty of times before yet he still continued to with his plans. Also, how do you plan on reforming a country without money and aid? You say your comments as if these people are given large amounts of money that they waste.Obviously a person cannot help everyone person in need but you have to start somewhere. The money distributed to the Ugandan people is not a lot. What is your solution to help these people? Since you put down aid, I want to know what do you think that need to be done to stop this crisis. Again, instead of arguing your point, make a point. DO SOMETHING!

7 03 2012
Efe Otokiti

i agree, its very easy to criticize anything, but although i might not have gotten all the specifics regarding the allocation of money, it did clarify that the effort was towards stopping Kony. my family is originally from Nigeria and if their is one thing i know, its that Africa is corrupt. almost every country in Africa has elements of corruption in its government. that cant be fixed by us, nor is it really any westerns place to try. however not every African country has a man committing the crimes Kony has, and telling me he’s hiding in the forest starving and on his last legs doesn’t comfort me in any way. even if i am sure he wont commit another crime, doesn’t he deserve to account for his crimes past? IC has an objective, a goal; the person who wrote this article basically insinuates that their goal is not good enough, and that doing nothing is better. its naive to think someone that evil is just going to stop if hes not caught.

22 10 2007
Todd

Actually Invisible Children has done very little other then spend money on marketing. They are just now looking for staff to run the programs in Uganda. They have been pouring out money for three years and very little has went to aid. They pay staff members a minimum of 2400.00 per month who do not raise their own support. On top of that, their operation cost are very high because they choose to operate out of California where the cost of living is through the roof. The national average for relief programs is to spend no more then 10 percent of donations on operating cost. IA continues to blow that out of the window.

7 03 2012
Shelley

Seriously??? This makes me sick. There were a lot of people just like you when Hitler reigned. And you waste time blogging about your thoughts on it? Point fingers? Get off your blogging ass and do something significant instead of trying to take down people who are. We’re all imperfect, get over it.

7 03 2012
Shelley

This comment was meant for the blog.**

7 03 2012
meiyoumayo

1. You used the Reductio Ad Hitlerum argument. Whatever you say after that is pretty much instantly invalid.

2. Invisible Children is NOT doing anything significant, unless you call going around selling overpriced shitty t-shirts to high schoolers and convincing them that sleeping in a cardboard box in a public park for a night actually helps alleviate the very real problems in Uganda significant. They’re self-promoting charlatans, and the author is doing a lot of people a service by pointing out this fact, so people will better research the causes they want to donate to, and stop throwing money at an organization by and for self-centered, lazy white kids who don’t know the first thing about social justice.

7 03 2012
Human

100% agree. Obviously if you’re the only person who’s written something negative, then your information must nit be accurate compared to the hundreds of thousands of people trying to help people (some may be undedicated but they all can’t be ignorant) so you should really think about what you wrote, because it sounds to me like you are discouraging people from helping a worthwhile cause. Also, why do you care if peopl donate their time and money to something they believe in? No one is makInf you buy a bracelet or put up posters. Keep your negative comments to yourself

7 03 2012
Trijo

Meiyomayo took the words right out of my mouth, perhaps you should “do something significant”, instead of sitting on your privileged, white butt, blindly supporting a wildly ineffective organization, and finally having the nerve to think you really have the higher moral group because you bought into some slick movie and bought a T-shirt. I realize it can be tempting to get caught up in the “I’m changing the world for the better” vibe, but don’t let your skepticism be silenced by some surfer dude, and his childish gimmicks.

7 03 2012
Mymmy

No kidding Shelley. ‘You’re like Hitler’…. really… do you know what that makes you??? I know Hitler is probably the only bad person in history you’ve ever heard of, and everyone you’ve ever met assured you that he was the most evil mothafucka ever, but even if you can’t understand why, trust me and STOP USING THAT ARGUMENT IF YOU WANT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY AT ALL.

HIS BLOGGING ASS? Yeah. He never went to Africa or anything. Just BLOGBLOGBLOGBLOGBLOGBGGOGOHFGI ALLLL DAAAAAAAAAAY

8 03 2012
bdholtzman

As someone with years of research and education in non-profits, mostly social service organizations, I assure you, 10% of donations on operating costs is a desire that’s primarily satisfied by continued desire for the goal, not actually adhered to. “Direct service” can mean many things; if you have workers who provide services for free, then their salaries are technically “direct service.” I agree that California is an expensive place, and many charities do move away from large cities and into the deep countryside as a result of locality expense, but they often move back, having discovered that they more than had to make up for the cheap location in marketing costs. “Out of sight, out of mind,” is a cliche for a reason.

I’m interested in the data that supports that “no more then 10 percent of donations on operating cost” statement. Can you provide a reference?

8 03 2012
Jenny

I think it is important to remember that they are trying to raise awareness, which is also the purpose of marketing. They are not trying to raise money for Africa, they are trying to educate us about a man who has been able to create unbelievable pain and suffering for too many year. They are giving a voice to those who don’t have one.

17 03 2012
robmorganaust

Actually, that’s not completely correct. It may be true of the video, but if you look at the IC website and read the stated purpose of the IC charity, and google/read the accounts of the _numerous_ young people who’ve blogged about the IC visits to their schools (IC has mounted quite significant school coverage campaigns), you’ll see that they purport to deliver significant aid to beneficiaries in Africa. Less than 30% arrives within the target country – according to IC’s own financial figures, compared with around %86 of other charities that target similar geographies and issues – Children of the Nations seems to compare very favourably compared with IC.

Personally, I can’t accept the claims to “awareness” or “educate” – there’s now enough dissection and credible contrasting views on the web to render the video and its narrative factually flawed – to the point where it no longer reflects reality, or the real needs of the region – which have little bearing on bringing Kony to justice, and more about repatriating orphaned and damaged kids, or helping with disease prevention and treatment.

A better source of awareness and education is a well-educated and articulate journalist living in Uganda – have a look at http://rosebellkagumire.com

14 11 2007
kathy

There have been lots of critiques about Invisible Children through the many years they have been based here in San Diego at various public forums.

We do not support them or any group where they fund raise and we can not know the accountability.. in Amnesty International either, officially. Having a huge marketing organization like IC is not the answer to Africa’s poverty and many woes. The IC uses much of “budget” for renting or leasing of 2 spaces here, and all the operational expenses of movie making is also not the answer to Northern Uganda. There are critqiues of the work in Northern Uganda also.

Some youth in Uganda do get some help with school fees. However, there is so much corruption in Uganda. The US just gave Uganda another 100 million, this time because of their failure to qualify for the real big money they are now getting money for better accounting, fraud,etc.(millenium Challenge Fund) corruption and lack of accountability..it is called the Millenium Challenge Threshold Fund….I guess because we have business interests there, and new oil deposits have been found. China just gave Uganda 54 military trucks, in a country that says they are not at war and that the supposed war with the LRA is winding down. Uganda has taken much money and it disappears with ghost payrolls and such. Now they are getting at the ongoing corruption in the Universal Primary Education Support monies. Kids have to pay money to go to school in many parts of the world.

Because of the forced living in the death camps in the North, most of the youth have not been able to get any chance for real schooling. This whole part of the country is dying, even though their land is the most valuable of all, so fertile.
kathy

Check out the website of 2 groups
http://www.friendsforpeaceinafrica.org
http://www.cegun.org

23 11 2007
Lucy

You will find alot of information about this complex situation posted on http://www.exposeugandasgenocide.blogspot.com.

Follow the various links for information and actions.

Also visit San Diego based http://www.cegun.org.

Thanks!

3 03 2009
erinbernstein

I found your article two years too late, but THANK YOU.

4 03 2009
Dustyn

Thank you to the author for getting it. As someone who has spent much time in Uganda and will be back for the third time in the past year in June, I understand you. It’s refreshing to see someone actually get it.

I know this is an old article and the peace talks have fallen through and the DRC is in turmoil, but the idea of the article stays the same. People like getting warm and fuzzy feelings, so they sleep outside and throw money at something they know nothing about. A lack of sustainable systems is the problem in Uganda, not the LRA who have moved into the DRC.

IC continues with their ignorance and misinformation, and now have released tshirts and a video that will inevitably make the problem worse with their insensitivity. They only stand to open up old wounds.

So, I say it again, thank you.

7 03 2012
Lisa

The peace talks have fallen through and the DRC is in turmoil but it’s not ok for people to show they care? It’s not an old wound it’s the same wound. “People” me being one of them know we can’t do it all, we can’t go to Uganda and save the world but we can do a little something by showing we care. The reason the invisible children is successful is because they made a simple plan something that is easy for those of us who are not directly involved to do a little something. They started something in motion that is easy for the rest of us to join in. It may not be perfect but what is? Do you have a better suggestion, a better idea? Are you willing to follow that idea through and do something about it? If so, good for you. I think we should take the good out of this idea and next time take a look at what didn’t work and make it better.

8 03 2009
Jackie

Hey All,

I spent a year working for IC last year. I can understand where each of you are coming from. BUT there are some very very legitimate points from IC’s side. If you are wondering about financial issues, go to the website and check out the annual report. It will clear up a lot of issues for you about where your money is going. The office that IC operated out of until VERY recently was rented at a very cheap price from a friend of the founders. Even the painting of the walls was donated by a company. Last year I experienced the humility and deep love of the staff at IC. I guarantee that they are doing everything that they can to be held to very high standards. As a roadie and intern, I spent many nights with the rest of my group debating the best ways to aid this country and the rest of the world. The founders of IC, along with the rest of the staff, seek to be a progressive, understanding, compassionate and intelligent group.

Please please please, if you have questions email me. I would love to have an open and intelligent dialogue with anyone here. I am an international development student at Ohio State and love to talk about international issues. Do not hesitate to contact me. I am not brainwashed by the organization. I understand that it has its fair share of shortcomings, but it is near impossible to find a nonprofit organization that doesn’t.

My email is Walker.890@osu.edu.

In Peace,
Jackie

14 03 2009
minuteman

“IC continues with their ignorance and misinformation, and now have released t-shirts and a video that will inevitably make the problem worse with their insensitivity. They only stand to open up old wounds.”

This is sad. Anyone that educates themselves about IC would know that they’re not ignorant or misinformed. The t-shirts are a statement, not created to educate people in and of itself, but to spark the question…”who is the LRA” to spark the journey of education (that is not educated like yourselves)…it seems to me that to call someone ignorant is ignorance in itself. Everything has context…every person has temperament…everyone has an opinion. Do you know the depth of IC like Jackie? If not, than I would encourage you to be slow to speak ill about an organization that doesn’t claim to be perfect.

How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye.” when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brothers eye.

We’re all in the process of life, a journey, a place of increased understanding and we should do our best in what we think is right, but when speaking out against others…we should first check ourselves and ask “am I going to be a part of the problem or the solution.” Personally, I’m still learning…

7 03 2012
AC

I watched their video, I didn’t donate to them, but I am know beginning to educate myself on what I personally think needs to be done, and where my money would be best suited. How can anyone discredit what they are doing? So what if they spend more money on campaigning and not on the problem itself? They are still shedding light on an area of the world that needs our help. I agree that there is better organizations to donate to, but that doesn’t mean what IC is doing isn’t helping. They’ve brought me here to this website, where I’ve read comment after comment of people speaking negatively about what they are doing.

Well, thanks to that viral video, I am somewhat more educated on whats going on in Uganda and Africa as a whole, and can decide whether or not to get involved. How can that be bad?

8 03 2012
Alicia

I agree with AC. I recently became aware of this Kony 2012 movement, and the Invisible Children campaign. However, what you failed to mention was that the Kony 2012 campaign was initiated because of these 3 Americans travelling Uganda, however the ultimate goal is to take down this war lord wherever he may be. So even if he is no longer in Uganda, and Uganda (like many other developing nations) has thousands of others problems to deal with, beyond their IC past, he is still out there. Moving through other nations, taking advantage of other children and impoverished families. The point of this movement is to make Joseph Kony famous, so that the world doesn’t forget about him and the terrible things he is doing. The point of this campaign is not directed towards Uganda, but rather dissolving a rebel group that happened to originate there. I agree that we do need to be aware of the chairities and organizations we are giving to. And after working in international development myself, I have seen the harm that international aid can cause. And the phrase that “a hand out, just results in a hand up” is all too true. But that’s not to say that we shouldn’t be helping, that we shouldn’t be educating ourselves about global issues. In our day and age, with the advancements of technology and the internet I believe we have even more responsibility now then we did 10 years ago, because now all this information is available to us, so now that we know we must act. Information is powerful, and even if only half the people on fb or any other media outlet hear about the IC movement, at least they are becoming globally aware and maybe more socially conscious. These are things we need to consider before harping on any social movement. What are the outcomes and what are the outcomes we were hoping for.

17 03 2012
robmorganaust

So, do all the awareness stuff, and bring legitimacy to the Kony2012 campaign by not turning it into the commercial transaction that the video implies. Do it with social media, not by giving money and “buying stuff” from IC.

And, now that you’re more educated on what’s going on, spend some more time googling Kony2012 and have a look at what others have to say from outside the IC-Kony2012 camp.

7 03 2012
Henry

Most awesome response so far – thumbs up!
I obviously have too much time to be reading a back and forth disputes where everyone misses each other’s points, but comments like this restore a little faith for me.

20 03 2009
Dustyn

Well, seeing as the filmmakers are willing to work with us, I’ll hold off on my retort, but know, that it is IC’s responsibility to worry about truly educating it’s followers, not allowing IC to become the cause, and stop worrying about Western pop cultural statements that offend those they claim to support.

20 03 2009
Dustyn

and because I can’t let poor grammar slide, its followers, not it’s.

20 11 2009
Iman

after reading a few of the replies, I feel very compelled to put this link up. http://www.invisiblechildren.com/theMovement/resources On the left of this page, you’ll see “Browse Resources” click “UGANDA”, then click “2008 Annual Report.” It breaks down where the money donated/received goes. Also, if you really have issues about what IC is doing, I strongly suggest that you pick up the phone to call them and speak with someone who can answer your questions. I understand that everyone has opinions, but if you’re really looking for facts, you’re not going to be very satisfied by reading someone’s blog.

and minuteman, your words are that of a wise person. Thanks for being real.

20 11 2009
Iman

and to Dustyn, the mayor of Gulu actually wore one of the new shirts (I assume you’re referring to the “I HEART the LRA” t-shirts) and I like to think that says something about a Ugandan’s view of what IC is doing. And I really don’t understand the cynicism here (the article and replies). at all. but as another replier mentioned before, “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” I hope people are doing more than spreading negativity around about a non-profit whose motives are honorable and if you think they could improve in their “ignorance” then I’m sure they would appreciate you letting them know instead of blogging about it. In addition, please just know that the tone of my reply is hope not anger… I re-read it and it seems like I’m angry, but I’m not. :)

6 03 2012
Lily

Iman, don’t worry. Reading through these, you comments are among the few where the tone isn’t angry. Bit late, I know… :|

6 03 2012
Dustyn

It’s a tired conversation that has proven to fruitless beyond causing my exasperation. But one more time:

Norbert Mao, former LC5 of Gulu District, he was not a mayor, asked for IC to stop dancing on the graves o our children. I heard it first hand.

He then went on to wear a shirt, which was highly disappointing, but the man is a politician and was at the time in the beginning stages of his presidential bid.

And because he wore a shirt does not make something as insanely offensive as “I heart the LRA” in northern Uganda ok.

I will say that I can’t believe we’re still talking about this. It’s an exercise in futility.

20 11 2009
Dustyn

He’s not the mayor of Gulu, he’s the LC-5 commish, and presidential candidate, Norbert Mao, and he’s a friend. However, he also is the same man who when seeing the shirts called IC and said, and I quote, “Stop dancing on the graves of our children.”

I actually have very little beef with IC at this point in time. Many changes have been made over the past months and Jason has been very responsive. But for you to condone their past actions and policies shows a huge lack of nuance to the situation.

Also, how do conclude that one must support IC in order to be part of the solution? You neglect to acknowledge the thousands of other efforts being undertaken. Most of which are locally based.

2 12 2009
skeptical...

Not to mention… the filmmakers are taking home over $90,000 a year…

http://cloud.invisiblechildren.com/media/financials/ic_2009_990form.pdf

17 03 2012
robmorganaust

…$90,000 a year – as shown on the unaudited accounts. There remains the question of how the other $3-4m expended on film-production was distributed… or was it $5-6m.

Having an audited set of accounts isn’t complicated and doesn’t have to be expensive – I know from first-hand experience – so why not take that step, and avoid any suspicion of accuracy in the financials?

Is that last point too subtle for all the well-meaning enthusiasts?

2 12 2009
skeptical...

And I too have been to N. Uganda twice (not affiliated w/invisible children.) I came home both times (the second more than the first) adamantly encouraging people not to fund them. Their operations on the ground have little more to show than lots of Invisible Children land rovers flying around everywhere. I toured their offices. And their VIP house with hot running water and maid service. and their other office in Kampala. They brought celebrities/MTV into internally displaced persons camps while I was there and filmed a music video. After being on the ground, you can truly see how misallocated the funds are and see that your donations are going to make the lives of the filmmakers, not the people of Uganda, much more pleasant.

8 12 2009
There Have Been Changes

Yes, you are correct about the current state of Uganda and that it has changed since the movie came out in 2004, but have you checked in with Invisible Children lately?
The way you state this article is like Invisible Children is a complete lie, that they are a scam for your money, and they don’t help the child soldiers. You also stated that the education system is inadequate, which is what IC helps!
Look at the fundraisers: Schools for Schools (helping the education), Tri (education/ rehabilitation), Mend (creating jobs for the jobless), Sponsor a mentor, student, etc. ALL OF THESE fundraisers help the education. For those people who read into IC, they know that thier money goes to help a sister school or a mentor or whoever.
Okay, thier original video is outdated and things have changed drastically, but IC wants to show people what started it all, and how this movie started a change. If you have ever attended a seminar, the roadies clearly state that the money will go to helping the education of the children. This move INSPIRES people to help the IC cause for Uganda. Actually, on thier recent disks they include an update in the special features about Uganda now.
So don’t go spreading the word that IC isn’t legitimate, and that people are raising money for the wrong thind and Uganda doesn’t need help. IC raises the majority of the money for the education of the students and past child soldiers and for the jobless and rehabilitation. The people who work for this cause are dedicated to it, and that it why so many college and high school students join the cause everyday.
IC knows they cannot stay in Uganda forever, but he education system still needs help. WIth a corrupt government and no-good education, why would they stop the support now? Once Uganda is better, Invisible Children will leave it to its own, but the support they give now is life-changing to the students.

7 03 2012
Michelle

Well said…. Even if the movie inspires others to make changes within their own community and to talk about global issues, then there purpose is still being served just on a different level.

10 03 2012
Harry

Michelle, Are you aware you replied to a comment from 2009 ?

21 12 2009
CL

In response to the the comment made above saying, “Once Uganda is better, Invisible Children will leave it to its own, but the support they give now is life-changing to the students” This comment, like most of the IC media, continues to show the savior mentality of the organization and the influence of a primarily western perspective. It’s funny that your focused on once Uganda is better without even clearly informing people of the the problem, distorting the complexity of the situation, missing completely the influencing factors and not including the ideas, feelings, thoughts of the Ugandans themselves. Has IC ever mentioned the role of Museveni in this conflict? Besides saying the people in northern Uganda are Acholi what more have they told you about this tribe?

In everything I have heard and seen from IC there is a scary similarity with the colonization attitude…. westerns as the explorers and conquers who are facing savage Africans. Just listen to the film makers talk or read the three The Phantom comics that were a partnership between IC and Moonstone Books.

By the way, are they entertainers or the founders of an organization? Their organization is just as much about them as it is about the Uganda people and conflict…. Having been to high profile events in Uganda where the founders have attended I can say with confidence that they act more like pop stars than they do with humility.

Here’s some more resources

http://www.allacademic.com/one/www/www/index.php?cmd=Download+Document&key=unpublished_manuscript&file_index=1&pop_up=true&no_click_key=true&attachment_style=attachment&PHPSESSID=67e82ed0620b84a83ba75f586abbf609

http://wrongingrights.blogspot.com/2009/03/worst-idea-ever.html

1 02 2010
Dan

This article is really poorly informed. Invisible Children is a development organization, they have set up education programs in northern Uganda and micro lending programs. I don’t think they have given out a single handout within their history, and white Invisible Children staff don’t make too many trips to Uganda. They have a Ugandan staff of over 80 people, I think there may be four or five western staff working on the ground, with a position solely dedicated to be a liaison with their US and Ugandan office.

I used to work for Invisible Children, when I did the CEO would regularly tell us that they aim to put themselves out of business. They don’t want to be around forever, they just want to be there as long as they need to be and not roll out at the first sign of peace, as you said there is still lots of stuff to be done there.

9 05 2010
Steve

Just now, I saw a really nice van drive by me while i was walking down the street that had “INVISBLE CHILDREN” painted all across the side of it over what looked to be a pretty expensive paint job. Now i’m just wondering… how the fuck does throwing money away like that over here in sunny San Diego help anyone? I’m sick of these people and i am happy you wrote this article. Thank you.

23 04 2011
JQ

Funny, I am here in Gulu and on occasion also see very fancy white AWDs with a nice paint job with the words “INVISIBLE CHILDREN” written on both sides. I continue to wonder where this vehicle (empty except for the driver) is going. I am happy that the author wrote this article as well. It is appalling to me that IC is making the substantial salaries (not to mention CA rents and travel expenses) by marketing the suffering of Ugandans.

4 06 2010
lola

Thank you for this article. I saw “Invisible Children” many years ago and was shocked to see advertisements more recently. Invisible Children claims that much of the money going into the organization is used to make a finished “cut” of an already well-glossed product. Why after all this time hasn’t “invisible children” produced a finished product?

The film itself uses psychological manipulation, such as disturbing images (which bear little or no relevance to the topic, including the butchering of a live chicken and historical footage of nazi marching troops), tones and sounds, surrealism and other psychological devices to create emotional responses without providing information. The film and it’s presentation, is, in my opinion, is carefully orchestrated in such a way to prevent critical thought and promote emotional reaction.

This is evident in that when I asked legitimate questions about how much money was going to the organization and how much was going to Uganda and then encouraging the audience to research the organization prior to donating, staff members (who were placed on the perimeter of the theater) heckled me in such a way to encourage a hostile environment – the entire audience responded with insults, booing and blind anger.

Invisible Children is NOT a “rough cut”. It is a well-polished and finished work which is intended not to inform the audience, but visually and psychologically assault them, intended to make the individual more suggestible when it is time to donate money.

Technically there are also shots which would have been nearly impossible to conduct on the field, especially so in an isolated third world country which is torn by war. If anyone has the opportunity to review this film again, look for these shots and ask how one would transport and setup the lighting equiptment and dollys necessary to accomplish them.

One scene which depicted hundreds of children sleeping was taken overhead, panning across them, all sleeping angelically. One should ask themselves how this shot was accomplished on site – and even if the technical provisions could be made, how one could film sleeping children while cameras and lights hung overhead without significant direction. In reality, it is highly unlikely that this particular shot would have been done on location, and certainly not without substantial initial funding, far greater than even the most well-funded independent projects filmed in less exotic locations.

I can appreciate Dan’s comments, however, these are all things which he has been told by no-other than Invisible Children. Without having actually been to Uganda to see what good has been done, all we have to go on is what the film and presentations say – for which I have significant concerns about the legitimacy.

21 10 2010
Give Me Truth « Along Red Dirt Roads

[...] about peace in eastern Africa as well. Another entry that I found to be very informative is this one, but be warned that it is outdated by four years and can be a bit in-your-face at times. Thanks for [...]

10 01 2011
Masune

This is well writen and I commend you for seeing this and all, but I think a lot of your information is inaccurate. They already started to touch on the problems you presented. I believe now they are trying to build schools and stop IDP camps. One thing that I think that I don’t know if others noticed, is that they seem to act as if Uganda is the only country that used child soldiers and sex slaves. They act as if it’s the only country that had problems with rebels. What I think they should do, is expand their program to help countries like Burma and Sri Lanka, who are STILL suffering with rebels and use of child soldiers and sex slaves. I’m not saying that they should stop helping Africa, but to simply help other people who may need it more.

3 04 2011
Joshua

I worked for IC … I left b/c I was disappointed about the truth things I found there.. I came to help as a sincere honest man … but found a dirty program..so much money invested in so many worthless things that were donated for other purposes also you don’t know how much all our support for charity has actually gone to people’s pockets….I’m not the only helper that left, we hoped they will change and will start being honest about how they lead this organization! Good Regards!

4 04 2011
Linda

Hi, we’re a group of students studying IC for a course at our school and want to continue the dialogue. I for one am starting to be increasingly saddened by IC’s lack of change in its policy asks and advocacy strategies. Thank you for this post and for stirring up so much debate.

Let us know what you think on our site: http://visiblepeople.blogspot.com.

7 04 2011
Anon

IC needs to provide captioning for their DVDs. This is nice for all, a necessity for the deaf & hard of hearing, helpful for those learning English. Not subtitles here and there, but captioning throughout.

28 06 2011
Joseph

First I would just like to say this is one of the stupidest articles I have ever read. If you really think there is no information on the website about what money is used for then you must be blind. They use money to rebuild school DESTROYED by the LRA they are helping with medical support for people with disease and wounds, they provide jobs for the people in concentration camps, and they have a rehabilitation center for kids affected by the war. I hope you understand by now that I completely disagree with you IC is doing nothing but good. If you choose to not support them then thats your choice, but dont go and talk crap about a organization you don’t know shit about. I recommend you get your head out of your ass and re look over the site. By the way they even have a tab called UGANDAN PROGRAMS which they are using the money for.

28 06 2011
Dustyn

Honestly, I currently have very little problem with IC. Honestly, this blogpost is old. Honestly, you clearly have no knowledge of aid efficacy and organizational structure.

I’m not criticizing IC, but when your defense is, “they’re helping people”, with no examination of efficacy or financial breakdowns, etc., you don’t hold much water when it comes to credibility. And the same goes for Bri below you.

Spend some time to learn the ins and outs of int’l dev, aid, organizational structure and strategy, non-profit fiscal responsibility, etc. before you start blindly speaking about these topics.

28 06 2011
Bri

You talk about how you feel people should understand the real situation before they try to “help”. I suggest that next time you write an article you do the same. Invisible Children is not an organization that “throws money” at anyone. If you honestly believe that the problems that the LRA caused are gone because the LRA has moved from Uganda to DR Congo and Sudan then you are one of the most ignorant people I have ever had the misfortune of running across. You talk about how you touched people and walked on the ground in Uganda and played with children as if that is something deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize. IC has rebuilt schools, given school scholarships to students who earned it, helped with medical aid, built radio towers to broadcast LRA attacks, built rehabilitation centers for former child soldiers and sex slaves, created jobs for local people, and so much more. IC is dedicated to helping the people of Africa help themselves, not giving them hand-outs. They also don’t just help in Uganda. The LRA has moved to DR Congo and Sudan, and so has IC and everyone that supports them. As far as the Sudanese being “greedy”, did you ever think that the reason they’re selling the UNICEF blankets was to buy food? Or medicine? If you had to choose between selling a free blanket or not feeding your child, you’d sell that blanket too. All of IC’s spending and programs are available on the website. The fact that you are trying to spread your ignorance as fact is disturbing. I think that you should take a look at your own arrogance and ethics before attacking others.

28 06 2011
Blake - Member of IC's Fourth Estate

At least the good and honest people at Invisible Children are doing more than writing on a blog. This harsh criticism is ironic in the sense that you’ve never been to Central Africa or have been active in the prevention of tyrrany and genocide. Maybe take a good look at yourself and take action if you’re not afraid to. The people of DRC and Uganda are very grateful for what Invisible Children has done. They’ve broken ground on a rehabilitation center for former child soldiers and refugees. What have you done? Ridiculed global activism and the service of the people with a hand reaching out to their fellow men. Quit being sour and do more than just watch.

28 06 2011
Dustyn

I wasn’t aware I hadn’t been there and worked on relief projects. Hmm, I wonder where I was and what I was doing. I also wasn’t aware IC didn’t receive any criticism from Ugandans. I wonder what I heard. Again, I’m not at the present critical of IC, but your ignorance is blissful ad self-congratulation disgusting.

29 08 2011
michael

honest people? i wouldn’t say that people that spend over 70% of donation money on shit like the fourth estate and all these other “awareness” conventions are honest.

2 11 2011
Chris Ronan

The Fourth Estate was not free bro. We had to pay for it. $495 which included food costs, rooms, etc. We also had to pay for our plane tickets. Nothing was free. Don’t believe me? http://invisiblechildren.com/thefourthestate check that out.

2 11 2011
Chris Ronan

You people are ignorant. Do you not check up on your “evidence” before you post it? Invisible Childrens legal financial statements are online and readily available. They also have told everybody that the LRA is no longer attacking Uganda and that is spreading. What the heck do you think The Protection Plan is about? Building high frequency towers to aid the communication with other countries in LRA sightings. Please guys, do your research before you post.

24 11 2011
harry

what is ur last name sam ??? i need to cite you for my work!

26 02 2012
Ashlee

Although your blog is very thought out and seems to be credible, I’m going to have to disagree with your thoughts on Invisible Children. You are definitely correct when you say the war in no longer in Uganda. But what you failed to mention was the fact that Kony has relocated to central Africa and is continuing to abduct and brainwash children today. Joseph Kony in NUMBER ONE on the list of the world’s most wanted according to the International Criminal Court. If all of this wasn’t still happening, why would he still be number one? Why would the idea that Kony is no longer in Uganda uncomfortable?! THAT’S INCREDIBLE! Those people no longer have to worry about being abducted or their families being murdered in front of their faces. Invisible Children is now focusing on arresting Joseph Kony. American troops have been sent in to assist the Ugandan army but need more technology to find Joseph Kony. Please, before you write a blog bashing an incredible organization that is trying to stop the world criminal in the world, do some research.

6 03 2012
Dustyn

The ICC is a castrated organization with no policing power. The majority of n. UG calls for transitional justice, not western “solutions”. And finally, I find it sadly telling how strong the defense is of the organization and not a voiced support for central Africa. Without IC, how do you get to feel hip and worldly? Who would provide the t-shirt to cover your back as you go around looking to have it patted? That’s all I’ll say on the matter. I have retired from arguing with sheep.

7 03 2012
Quoc Ngo

If we are here for a good mean, why do we have to use all the mean, sour and bitter words to address each other??

7 03 2012
Elysabeth

Dustyn – I’m absolutely shocked at the language you’re using. I’m extremely upset at what you wrote, and quite frankly, I’m offended.

“Without IC, how do you get to feel hip and worldly?”

Do you really think people are doing this just to feel hip and worldly? Isn’t there a possibility that people want to just do some good? Not everybody in the world is motivated by selfish reasons. It may astound you to hear this, but people exist who simply want to help. Because it’s the right thing to do. They wear apparel and put up posters to spread awareness. Who are you to say they’re all doing it just to “feel hip and worldly?” I for one support helping those who are less fortunate than me, in our country and out of our country. Shoot, if there was a poorer, war-ravaged planet out there that needed help, I would do what I can. Not because I want to be patted on the back by others, but because giving, caring, and helping is WHAT I BELIEVE IN. It’s not because I want someone to notice. It’s because I was raised to help those who need it.

And please, we’re not sheep.

6 03 2012
Fiona

I know that this article was ages ago, but after hearing about the IC for the first time today, I felt like adding to this a little.

I just watched the new stop Kony video and frankly, it scared me. I felt as if I was watching a propaganda video and what scares me is the strength behind the organisation now evolving because of this new video.

I’m 17, no doubt one of the film’s target audience. The alarm bells started ringing in my head when I discovered that these young people went to Africa, for no obvious reason and ended up getting involved in such a “righteous” cause. Do people tend to randomly head out that direction? Because if they do, I didn’t know that.

What worried me the most though was the asking for donations. I feel as if they are targetting teens by trying to convince us that they have more faith in us then any other adults, that they know that we know we are intelligent and morally right and our playing to our vanities. As soon as they asked for money, my mind screamed “SHAM!”.

I don’t have a problem with trying to save the world, but throwing money at a problem won’t make it go away. Sometimes we have to be happy to change the world in tiny ways, like by smiling at someone and making them smile in return, like hugging, kissing, telling people that you love and support them, saying thank you, having faith in our fellow humanity and most of all in ourselves. Also, sometimes the best way to end corruption is to work inside of it and to destroy it from the inside out, by playing by the corrupts laws.

6 03 2012
Eloisa A.

Quote: “The alarm bells started ringing in my head when I discovered that these young people went to Africa, for no obvious reason and ended up getting involved in such a ‘righteous’ cause. Do people tend to randomly head out that direction? Because if they do, I didn’t know that. ”

It is actually quite common for privileged youth in United States colleges to go to Africa to work humanitarian projects. Most universities I know of have these projects (or promote them to students). I’ve personally been asked many times to go – although I haven’t, for personal reasons.

Quote: “I feel as if they are targetting teens by trying to convince us that they have more faith in us then any other adults, that they know that we know we are intelligent and morally right and our playing to our vanities.”

I’m a bit confused as to why you think teenagers are the prime demographic? I assumed it was teens to college students, as college students usually have more money to spend without being dependent on their parents. There was a lot of facebook references, but that is not just a product of the current teenage population. I feel that you have made many assumptions in your comment, and I would be pleased to know your reasoning behind these assumptions.

7 03 2012
Nan

Fiona, you sound like a very smart girl, it’s very heartening to hear from someone your age who is such a well-developed critical thinker. You should continue to question organisations like IC (all aid and development organisations deserve this type of scrutiny, not just the “bad” ones), and then if you do want to donate you have a better chance of your money going to do something effective. And Eloisa, in the original IC video, the founders of IC went to South Sudan and Northern Uganda, both of which are not the type of places that universities send inexperienced students to for a bit of feel-good native hugging during Spring Break.

17 03 2012
robmorganaust

There’s a good wealth and diversity of views linked into the text on this page: http://thedailywh.at/2012/03/12/more-on-kony-2012/

The key seems to be to understand the problem, and the real question for 2012 is how much of a problem does Kony represent?

6 03 2012
Mel Wilson

While I am new to knowing much about IC or your blog. What I am thankful for is that there are different organizations around the globe with different strengths. It seems that IC’s strength is marketing which is making the public finally AWARE of Joseph Kony and his atrocious acts.

7 03 2012
kt

I agree completely.

6 03 2012
Sara

While IC’s biggest goal for the year is to help get rid of Kony, they are also trying to help build new schools in Uganda and other places affected by the LRA. Yes, the IC has moved to different countries in Africa, which is clearly stated in their video and on their site. There are still children who held in the LRA from Uganda against their will. They are trying to gain international attention to Kony’s name to help free these children and give them the life they deserve. To say this is “old news” is completely ludicrous. 9/11 was a real tragedy as well, but the two situations are completely different and can’t be compared.

6 03 2012
The Big City

Fantastic. Only thing I might highlight is that not sending aid and relief funds isn’t exactly the right idea. We just need to do so in a way that would set the country up for independence rather than just giving away handouts to the population. If the United Nations could actually help create a working economy and set the gears in motion, now that would be ideal.

6 03 2012
George

PROTIP: There are too much people in the world to feed, clothe and educate. Social Darwinism has long pushed society forward, producing the best of our species. But now with the lack of natural selection, we are moving backwards at an alarming rate.

7 03 2012
Jen

This post concerns me…. Both in terms of your understanding(?) of the terms you use and what it insinuates about your stance on mobility. Tragic.

13 03 2012
Eneya

yes, by all means. let the privileged people, who have jobs, home, access to education and medication speak about natural selection.

6 03 2012
redjew

In order to help developing and third world countries, we shouldn’t be just throwing money at the problem. Instead of giving food and clothing endlessly to these countries, we would be much better off by using money to establish industry and infrastructure. Create jobs and ways for people to earn a living, instead of them learning how to accept UN handouts the rest of their lives. What Invisible Children is doing seems to be positive and their video certainly got me to thinking about how I can help other people in need. Like the blogger The Big City said “If the United Nations could actually help create a working economy and set the gears in motion, now that would be ideal.” Build schools and factories, bring in people to teach these nations how to run themselves, and work towards a moment in time where we can exit these countries and have them be run by themselves and making a positive international image they can be proud of. Countries in Africa have been relying on international help for too long, and it’s about time that the world finally learns how to allocate funding properly to actually fix the issues.

7 03 2012
KONY - Page 2

[...] [...]

7 03 2012
ALindsa

Reblogged this on Investigating Media 008 and commented:
Found this right after watching that powerful documentary, “Invisible Children”.

7 03 2012
Lizzy Cruz

Actually they said very clearly last year on Oprah that they are using the $33 million dollars to build 11 new schools and several rehabilitation centers in Uganda since they have moved the LRA out of there, thank God! HOWEVER, the LRA has spread into 3 more countries. Invisible children figured “why stop now?” So now in 2012 we are helping make him famous so more people will support the movement to arrest Joseph Kony! It’s not over! The war has been going on for 25 years, it’s time to end it on the 26th year. Support all you can! If you don’t trust where your money is going, don’t donate. But what harm can trending it on twitter, or showing more of your friends do?

7 03 2012
Silas Fischer

I think we need to raise awareness to issues happening in the NOW, immediately and then work to organize a way for everyone to safe with what is happening. We need to organize ourselves to push forward into a better tomorrow. But we need to do it together, we can’t feel like we’re leaving anybody out. There can be no doubt that we are all comfortably informed and aware of what is happening on Earth, to each other.

7 03 2012
Michelle

Actually, the site says they became official in 2006. …so not 2004.

7 03 2012
San

The author of the blog article says Invisible Children doesn’t show any “real information” on their website, but where are the author’s citations for his/her claims about his/her facts?

7 03 2012
Nikki

Right? I thought the same right away.

7 03 2012
J

You do realise that this blog was written years ago, so maybe at the time of research it didn’t actually show any ‘real information’

17 03 2012
robmorganaust

Try this – http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12429

It’s the only benchmark of charity effectiveness available – the rating might look ok, but if you compare it to a few other well-known charities you’ll see the differences.

And, asking for proof of the omission implies that you’re happy to make a broad assumption that the appropriate information is present – if you go looking, you’d already know it’s not. Why did you automatically assume otherwise? The video was designed to play on emotions and trust, and you’ll likely regard my response as rude and unfair.

Here’s the question most folks want to know – If I give you $10, how much of it goes in administration or other costs (eg your back pocket), and how much gets to the end recipient? What form of benefit, or range of benefits are you targetting, etc. How do I know that you’re completely honest with me? (easy to dismiss if your financial accounts are audited.)

Have a look at charity navigator, and try googling for additional information on the charity navigator view.

7 03 2012
Deborah

“I thought back how I thought it was a good idea for me to send a shoebox filled with soap, toothpaste, bouncy balls, and a washcloth to a faraway land. What I realize now is that sending things, whether money, objects, or people to a place that I have no information on is a bad idea.”

“Give a man a fish, he will be full for a day. Teach a man how to fish, he will be full for the rest of his life”

7 03 2012
rackcity

Im very glad i read this post! it opened my eyes and reall made me think..

7 03 2012
Jazmin

The author says that the IC is “too late” – but I question this, is it really too late to raise humanity awareness? What the IC is doing is something that is feasible within their limit of possibility, I agree that by sending money to Africa we do not alleviate them of their economic problems. That is not the IC’s objective. The purpose is to capture (despite if he is withered and sickening away) Kony and by doing so will act as a symbol to the global world. That corruption will not/cannot continue under our watch, and that individuals have the power to do something. Yes, it may be too late to help all the lives that the LRA tore apart, yet this is something that can help and protect future generations. The author does not suggest a solution, and I respect that you pointed out you have nothing to offer. I think providing a negative side to the IC’s movement is something any critical theorist will do, but with no solution I cannot help but find your article frustrating. I encourage all of you who quickly criticize the movement to think of something that can help implement change. What do you suggest can be done? Policy makers work in their self interests, and Africa cannot be cut dry of its money supply over night. The IC is not offering a solution to economic turmoil, but it is a ray of hope that can help future generations or other current turmoil that could be happening across the globe. It at least is starting somewhere and working to help. It is the first of its global magnitude that is working thus far. Perhaps the IC will help establishing other movements across the globe that can help Africa stand on its own feet.

7 03 2012
dominick

You have not done enough research… the problem was not only in uganda. It moved into different regions in Africa. you are not the only one that has done research. After Uganda they moved into Sudan where it is still a problem. it has gotten better since the separation of Sudan and Southern Sudan. My point is, this is still a problem

7 03 2012
Miss Ava
7 03 2012
asiu

For doubters who think it can’t be done in such terrain and a slippery slope to yet another war, check out how the Brits put an end to the Militia in Sierra Leone in 2000 that had been terrorizing the country.

The British sent a few troops to provide training/advice. Had a non-engagement policy… conveniently some regular soldiers were captured & a rescue mission was mounted by British SF’s. In one blow involving SBS & SAS troops with backup from the Parachute regiment, they took out the militia in one blow. Mission accomplished.

It can be done.

7 03 2012
Jim

It’s funny reading all of these comments. Everyone agrees that something should be done to help provide a solution but disagree as to what the solution may be. Whether or not IC is really providing the right solution is beyound me. What I can say is that when people come together and put there differences aside for a common goal they make solutions happen, people today seem to have forgotten that. So instead of pointing the finger at other people or belittling others efforts, become a ripple in the pond because what you do matters. Change doesn’t happen over night but if people keep trying eventually change happens. And at least IC is trying

7 03 2012
Nikki

Brilliantly said.

7 03 2012
Anona

Amen to that.

7 03 2012
Keeg

I worked on an IC campaign at my school and through a statewide organization. I loved IC and think they did good things. As I read more I become more skeptical. HOWEVER, I dont know anything for sure. What I do know is how utterly annoying it is to read every post calling the former uneducated, ignorant, foolish, ect (and bringing up Hilter!).

Can we all agree to stop that shit and post facts / opinions / ect and stop all the ad homin insults that just make reading all of these annoying. QUIT! No one here is in middle school for Christ sake….

7 03 2012
thomashongus

Reblogged this on thomashongus.

7 03 2012
Kony 2012 - R/C Tech Forums

[...] get to excited http://ilto.wordpress.com/2006/11/02…ible-children/ __________________ G-TROOP | OC/RC | CALRACEWAY | WC/RC FUTABA | NOVAK NATION TENSCTE |22B [...]

7 03 2012
Lily

Kony has already backed out of numerous peace talks and meetings. He simply does not show up. Who’s to say it won’t happen again? If he’s on his last legs, it is because of the change partially contributed by the three guys looking for nothing but a ‘story.’ The US not getting involved in Rwanda was a huge mistake, but why must we believe it HAS to be repeated?

7 03 2012
Stop Kony

Is Kony arrested and on trial yet? No? Well then shut up and keep your opinions to yourself Kony2012 is to get him put away for good, and he is not yet. That is why it is still going because they want him arrested and gone for good. Until that happens they will keep trying so don’t act all high and mighty thinking you uncovered some stupid conspiracy.

7 03 2012
C

Okay, I’ve been doing as much research as I possibly can on this. I’ve seen the video, I’ve read this article and all the comments, I’ve looked on the IC website, I’ve tried to find their financial records and failed, thought that just might be me. I’m still conflicted.

The problem that I see isn’t that people are trying to help, it’s that people aren’t being adequately informed. The current video circulating is outdated (from what I can tell), and to me seemed sort of like a propaganda video, messing with emotions a lot more than using real facts. I’ve since learned that now, rather than having problems with the LRA, Uganda has more issues with the IDP camps and inadequate education, and that the LRA has since moved into other countries. I can’t tell if their current mission is to help education or stop the LRA other places or both. If someone educated knows the answer, kindly reply?

It also doesn’t seem to me like IC is using their funds very well, with sending people places and paying for manufacturing t-shirts and videos and renting their office space, rather than actually donating money to the Ugandan army and rebuilding schools. Again, I could not find records of this, so somebody aware of the answer, please enlighten me.

I’m unhappy that people (from what I’ve seen) are totally jumping on the bandwagon and jumping to conclusions about this whole thing without researching the IC and actually looking at more than their side. I’ve tried to point this out to various friends, but I’m being discredited and called “inhumane” for being reluctant to support something I don’t know tons about. They didn’t provide information about where the money is going to in the video I watched, but just asked for it to support Uganda, which could not be more vague.

Really, the issue is that rather than investing to help people, money is just being shoved in that direction. Isn’t it way more helpful to send people seeds and plants and educate them on farming that to just send them a basket of corn? Then they would learn to support themselves rather than just accepting donations. This is why I’m in favor of helping to build schools and wells and things that will last rather than just giving temporary solutions. The problem I’ve found is that I can never really know if my money is going towards building this school or if it’s paying staff or rent or going to t-shirt manufacturers.

I apologize for the length of this post, and the fact that it basically has no strong opinion stated on the IC. I’m really just posting what I know (well, what I think I know) and hoping to get responses either correcting me or further explaining the situation. Thank you!

7 03 2012
Jophu

Hey, you asked where to find their financials. Unsure the degree of accuracy, but here it is:

http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12429

7 03 2012
Kelly

Cripes it took me less than a minute, tax returns also there

http://www.invisiblechildren.com/financials

7 03 2012
Professor James Donald

It is important to realise that Invisible Children Inc is particularly focused on international policy change and justice in Central Africa as a result of the Joseph Kody and his crimes in Uganda. Please don’t think that the movement from Uganda into Southern Sudan and other areas makes Kody go away. The ICC still has Kody at the top of their list – that’s motivation and proof enough for anyone to be putting their support this cause.

7 03 2012
Nan

Hey Professor – your comments (and title) would be a little more credible if you didn’t get Kony’s name wrong 3 times…

7 03 2012
Z

I think a lot of people here might not realize that this article was posted WAAAAAYYY back in 2006. Six whole years ago. Not to say that it doesn’t have valid points that might still be viable to the current Kony2012 campaign. Just… pointing out a bit of date discrepancy here.

7 03 2012
Z

Also, there’s no reason not to fact check an organization with such a large scope that brings in millions of dollars in donations. Doesn’t make its cause any less worth fighting for. It also doesn’t make the organization any more immune to faults.

7 03 2012
Ernest

I think that the purpose was not to single out and protect Uganda and only Uganda. The Kony movement is to arrest Joesph Kony for his war crimes, not to protect Uganda and Uganda alone. Get your facts straight.

7 03 2012
Alexa

I agree. People seem to have forgotten that the movement KONY 2012 isn’t for Uganda alone. It’s to get Joesph Kony arrested for his war crimes. All the things I’ve seen today and yesterday that contradict IC seem to have forgotten this.

7 03 2012
Emmy

Hrm, definitely an interesting read. I first became aware of IC because of the video that’s been circulating the internet today, and this is… well, disappointing to read, to say the least.

I still think that the KONY 2012 movement is a good idea: even if we can’t do anything about what’s going on in Uganda right now, I do think it’s important to show the government that we see what’s going on in the world and that we aren’t okay with the state it’s in. Sure, maybe Kony isn’t the major problem any more, but I want the government to know that this kind of thing can’t go unnoticed for 20 years again. I also think that this movement will inspire others (hopefully, more educated folks like yourself!) to start their own movements for more current causes (like trying to help Uganda and countries in similar situations learn to stand on their own, because I do think that helping them achieve that would be better than throwing money at them). And also, education and awareness ain’t a bad thing! I didn’t know about Kony until IC’s video, and researching that led me here, so that’s a positive thing.

However, just because I agree with a movement doesn’t mean I agree with the organization! I definitely got the privileged Western kid vibes while watching the video, and now I see that it goes deeper than just naive idealism. I’ll have to do a little more research into the organization before I decide to offer monetary support or not, but at the moment I’m thinking I probably won’t.

Thanks for the article — informative, beautifully written, and defs inspiring me to go do more research on the subject.

7 03 2012
Kelly

Don’t put too much stock in a blog written like 5 years ago, do some research… it’s tragic that this has gone so viral, people just look at a blog and go “OK Yup” I’ve scoured the IC website, articles from Uganda and Sudan googled stories about the ICC and watched the video in it’s entirety. This is an experiment on the power of social media as it says in the video’s first 5 minutes. It also adds “You have to pay attention.” which is where I think they lost most people, almost even me. In this age of short attention spans it takes effort to be still for 30 minutes :/

Visit the LRA tracker http://www.lracrisistracker.com/#media

Dig DEEPER

7 03 2012
Lindsie

While I definitely agree on most points and can acknowledge that nothing you have said is false, I must say that hundreds of thousands of “warm and fuzzy feelings” will breed the potential for those who are seriously going to look into the current issues and act with a certain degree of knowledge instead of acting like a Western idiot and believing that simply being there is doing good.

Even if the issues that the people IC are bringing up are “old news” it’s still shedding light on an important issue that in some form is still continuing today and the after-effects of which can stilll be seen. And I believe that that makes it a worthwhile cause.

7 03 2012
Kimdra

I believe this Kony 2012 thing is a brilliant idea because it does open people’s eyes, not specifically to the problems in Africa, but to our reliance on technology and how it can help us to understand the world better. We’ve only just begun the evolution of technology and social media sites. We’re literally the first generation of internet users, and so yes, we haven’t perfected it yet. I think this will help future generations understand and try to help when another disaster strikes. Think about it: kids in the remotest areas of Africa are getting technology now, and with the entire world connected with the click of a mouse, we can post pictures, videos, status updates, and news articles about anything happening in our local area. It only takes someone like this to kick-start a whole movement. I’m not saying I agree with this Kony 2012 thing (I see a lot more than just old news after reading the article; I see teenagers using a night out downtown as an excuse to exercise their need to vandalize and be rebellious for no other reason than “because everyone else is doing it.” We all know how teenagers work, as we were all teenagers at one point in our lives, too) but the concept of someone making a video and literally slathering it all over the internet via *the internet* is almost a revolution in news and media sharing. I have a feeling, much like how the Blair Witch Project sprung forth Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield, Super8, Chronicle and other “amateur realism” movies, Kony 2012 is going to inspire the next generation of internet users to use the internet for more than just means of learning and becoming known. This is an entirely new concept, because before the only way of knowing about events from the other side of the planet was through the news and, as this video showed, the news doesn’t show EVERYTHING. It only shows what we find relevant, and as Uganda is on the other side of the planet from us, literally and virtually, Westerners didn’t care enough for the media (should be known as the First World Parabolic Dish with Speakers) to go and dig information up to let us know more. Our joined voices make one hell of an impact on what we get shown everyday, from advertisements to global events and crisis. Look at how Global Warming led to the popularization of electric cars. They’ve been around ever since batteries and cars were perfected, and they’ve only JUST hit the market big time. The public voice goes a long way, and a country may have money and power, but without the public, there is technically no country, no money, and absolutely no power. No, I agree and disagree: this video is an eye opener, and something like this was inevitably going to happen. Taken at eye-level, the video was a waste of money as pointed out by the article, but taken in a metaphorical sense, this video is a radical new way of spreading the word about everything and anything. It’s all just crowd hyping.

7 03 2012
7 03 2012
Khanh Nguyen

I agree it’s a problem when people travel to Africa to help out with issues they’re not informed about because many times that will make the situation worse. I went to the Invisible Children’s website, but was surprised at the lack of transparency there so I’m skeptical to what exactly the money is used for…

Charity is more than simply being nice. It’s about solving problems. We need to look at the bigger picture because our good intentions don’t always lead to the most favourable outcomes.

7 03 2012
Nadia Herrera

The problem is still there, however, it is way more complicated now because it has evolved over time. Perhaps the answer IC proposes isn’t the best answer, but at least someone is doing something about this cause.

7 03 2012
Ashley

Before writing this did you watch the video? Granted, Kony is no longer attacking Uganda, but has moved on the OTHER places, OTHER children. He has not stopped! THAT is the issue. This isn’t a plea to come to the rescue of one country, but to thousands of children. This video doesn’t focus on Uganda, but children who were murdered, raped, and essentially destroyed by this man. Maybe you should do some research, and get your head out of your ass.

7 03 2012
Olivia

That is why this article is fromo 2006 – therefor anything may have changed since then. I do agree that we need to really look into this before jumping the gone on Kony 2012, but i also think nothing negative can come from fighting the cause.

7 03 2012
Kelly

I object to calling a blog an “article” that suggests it is written by the media…

7 03 2012
aaaafffffsssdd

Okay so let me explain how dumb you are.

1) this post is from 2006, try to read something before you shit on it

2) he isn’t someone who hates Africa

3) IC does use somewhat dishonest tactics in the KONY 2012 video. and watching that does not research whatsoever.

7 03 2012
Impartial Observer

All of the monetary accusations aside, IC are evidently very good at mobilising large groups of people to contribute to a cause. If they achieve nothing in Uganda (I believe their mission centres more on awareness rather than actually as an organisation getting in there on the ground) then we as a society learn a great deal on how we can enforce change.
Yes their approach is MTV-esque but at the end of the day thats what the world responds to now. Positive influence is never wrong, it should never be thrown aside no matter what form it takes. If you don’t support it, fair enough, but learn from it and make your own contribution for change.

7 03 2012
H

THANK YOU. People seem to be forgetting that the Kony 2012 campaign is just that…a CAMPAIGN. Are the marketing whizzes at IC going to use every emotional tactic in the book? Of course, wouldn’t you?

The point is, they’re moving towards a short-term goal of raising awareness. They’re achieving that goal–everyone I know is talking about Kony. If that contributes to the long-term goal of seeing Kony arrested, that’s phenomenal, he’s a terrible guy who belongs behind bars.

But it’s also created this huge byproduct of debates like these. I’ve only researched this for two days, but weighing facts and opinions carefully has made me much more informed about Uganda than I would have been if not for the Kony 2012 video that initially sparked my interest…and isn’t that mobilizing social change? I count that a small success for IC.

We live in a society that is taught to be skeptical of emotional appeals and propaganda (and with good reason). That mean’s we’re a people that learns from history. But the immediate products of this campaign are not negative; greater awareness, interest in research, and calls for social justice are not things to be feared.

17 03 2012
robmorganaust

By all accounts, that awareness campaign has netted I-C $33m USD.

I could be wrong, but that seems to be the figure quoted recently on Oprah or similar.

I’m all for an awareness campaign – but do you think it warrants 33m?

I thought awareness was this stuff, social networking, and really clever cos it didn’t cost anything…

7 03 2012
KONY 2012 - Page 2 - The Halo Forum

[...] http://ilto.wordpress.com/2006/11/02…ible-children/ I'm really cute. nV. Blunt : you play with kersey who is the most known cheater lol One solution for two of the worlds biggest problems: Feed the hungry people with the homeless people. Profile Send PM Quote [...]

7 03 2012
Cody

I feel as though you are ignorant about the issue. Yes we’ve seen the video, we know Kony is no longer in Uganda, but he is still a threat. Yes he maybe be weak at the moment, but if we let up now he can just come right back and build his army stronger and stronger. Now about the Uganda army fighting him off. Yes this is true, they fought his army out of uganda, but this was all with the help of American advisors sent out to uganda to help the cause.

7 03 2012
Emmy

I feel as though you are ignorant about reading, because if you read you will notice that this article is from 2006.

I also think you are ignorant about the definition of ignorance, because the word “ignorant” implies a lack of knowledge about something, and this article demonstrates that the author has (or at least, had as of writing this) a vast wealth of knowledge of the problems plaguing Uganda and Invisible Children as an organization.

7 03 2012
Soninik

Hi there,

I have read the article and most of the comments, and I am personally astonished at all the negativity regarding the IC and their work. In my opinion, it is much more logical to create campaigns, movies, and ads about a worthwhile cause rather than a product that will just continue to brainwash society. Yes, just as any large and influential non-profit IC spends excessive money on what they are doing, and I don’t need to read about specific numbers to know that that is true. However, in our consumer driven world, there will always be an idea, issue, or product that will be marketed, and will consequently, produce revenue. So why not take an important social issue and make others aware of it. The point of the campaign is not to necessarily raise money to help orphans in Uganda, but make people aware and make them care. Obviously, the IC can’t describe all of Uganda’s history and current problems on their t-shirts, but they are taking the first steps by making people aware of the fact that such a problem actually exists. It is up to the people to decide whether or not they want to further expand their knowledge regarding the topic. And here we hope that just like in any other case, a smart consumer is also a smart supporter. I agree, we shouldn’t blindly buy or support something, but if we do, that is not the organization’s or producer’s fault, but our own. After all, the IC doesn’t force us to make any choice, we make it on our own, whether it is done blindly or not. Lastly. the IC movement is also created to empower others. Maybe such a movement will mobilize enough people to create a real non-profit organization that will suffice the needs of all people. That is idealistically speaking. All I am saying, is that the IC provides others with the opportunity to learn and help, and I believe that shouldn’t be criticized in any way.

-S

7 03 2012
George

I think you make an interesting point, that in a society where ideas, issues, and products are constantly being marketed to citizens, it would take some heavy marketing like the Kony 2012 campaign to even catch the attention of the masses. In this respect, it’s a useful campaign.

I think readers should be encouraged to personally investigate any issue they offer support for before making any decisions, like you said. However, it seems to me that most people today are either too lazy or apathetic to research topics in depth even after they are aware of the issue. As they watch the Invisible Children campaign video, they believe that the issue is stated in full and throw their money at this company, which really only appealed to their emotions, as was part of their marketing strategy I’m sure. From what I’ve read on several blogs and forums, it seems that IC exaggerates just about everything they say and it could be misleading.

Due to the apathy of so many, or the naivety of some, without doing their own research they may believe that IC is making a big enough difference and not many would question IC’s methods enough to start their own charity campaign. Also because IC is so popular now, it would be difficult to gain support for a real organization when many people, like some of the comments above, are so opinionated that they refuse to very thoroughly research both sides of the argument before furiously pushing their opinion. However that probably goes for me too, as I am definitely not an expert in sociology or IC’s operations.

7 03 2012
Alexa

I agree to both the OP of the comment and you yourself. People are complaining and contradicting IC. They’re pulling up numbers and opinions based off of what they have heard or maybe one blog post such as this one they have read. I’ve read a couple today and I say I have mixed feelings about IC but not the movement. The movement was created to raise awareness of Kony as well as raise the will in others to fight for this cause and to fight for the arrest of this man.

However, many people have jumped on this so called bandwagon either because they fully know what it’s about and support it or because it’s a new social trend.

Personally I am for the movement and agree with it. But in a realistic point of view, I can see almost half of the supporters dropping out before Cover the Night because it’s suddenly not as important or interesting anymore.

Maybe I don’t know much about how much IC is using their funding for, but I know they have done a great job at raising awareness. If people are upset that IC exaggerates their facts, well they should do some research and find the real numbers.

7 03 2012
H

YES.

7 03 2012
Trish

The visible problem with this post: clearly you have yet to watch the Kony 2012 video…
I have been involved with invisible children since 2006 and yes a lot of college students join on at a later date without watching the original video or without doing their updated research to understand how things have changed… but that doesn’t mean the problem is solved(just like the article says)
The new video does inform viewers that the LRA has moved on and that his forces are being weekend… but the point of the video is to remove the source of the problem… lets say the his army gets weakened to the point that they are a miniscule threat and so then everyone but a local town that he terrorizes(similar to a gang) remembers him… he can then in the future regrow his army…
If you kill all the cancer cells but one, the cancer will return…
The new video is intended to arrest the source….

7 03 2012
aaa

lol this was posted in 2006

7 03 2012
Awareness doesn't equal Advocacy

Ashley maybe you should read the date of this post and then rethink your idiotic comment. Of course he couldn’t have watched the video in 2006. -__-

7 03 2012
sb32

Firstly, I think it’s amazing that literally in the past twenty-four hours KONY 2012 has been shown all around the world and the majority of us have gone from having no clue as to who this man is and what he’s done, then the next day we do. It shows that the internet has come along way to be able to connect to everyone and evoke such feelings and motivate us to do something.

However as the movie states, this has been going on for years and years, not just by Joseph KONY and not just in Uganda. Children were captured and brainwashed to become warriors in the SPLA in Sudan, children being used as sex slaves and all the rest. The point is arresting or killing Joseph KONY won’t put an end to Africa’s problems. I agree that justice should be served 100%, but to make a campaign to help all these children can only go so far.

Realistically, there is a debatable probability of the US deciding to enter and help as millions of dollars would be invested to kill one man, who has in no way done anything to the US. Once Kony is dead then what? Are we going to see the exact same video being shared around the world about Mugabe? Or about every other figure of power who has endangered lives in Africa?

Put it this way, did make poverty history ever truly end poverty? Millions of people live in poverty, even after being made public all around the world. Will Kony 2012 end all use of child soldiers,sex slaves and truly save Africa.

This is only my opinion, and I can understand why it might be wrong and why I’ve missed the entire point of this campaign. Of course I am in favour if this idea and will be painting my city red on April 20th, but I think realistically, it might achieve what it wants but it can’t achieve everything. We are all just sheep following each other, agreeing with this campaign and believing it will work because you agree that its bad and because you now feel smart enough to be able to say you’re part of koby 2012. Of course I’m only talking about the teenagers as they firm the majority of social networking sites. We simply need different views and opinions to be able to expand our understanding, and that’s all I’m trying to do. Sorry for any disrespect or ill informed statements.

7 03 2012
Lboy

How about you go suck a dick nigga? You ignorant bitch.

7 03 2012
20yr/olst

Wow what a worthwhile comment…. You have made an EPIC contribution to this debate and made a HUGE difference to everyone’s views (I hope you’re intelligent enough to pick up the sarcasm here). Both sides have valid points from what I’ve read. IC may not be the best charitable organization to donate money to, but they have brought up an issue a lot of us were unaware of, which is quite an achievement (e.g. I’m hearing about this from Australia). Good work to them but I’m still going to check out what other charities are doing (profit margins, impact, programs etc) before I decide where my donation can be of most assistance.

7 03 2012
Emmy

I adore how the accuser of ignorance uses the racist term “nigger” and the misogynist term “bitch”.

17 03 2012
robmorganaust

Yep, in terms of plain offensive, unintelligent comments, this has to be a record – pure vitriol in around 10 words.

7 03 2012
Rachel

Atleast Kony 2012 is getting the word out there and letting people know that if you stand up for something, it can spread and get something done. Even if we are too late and even if this whole thing does no good to Africa, it was not a waste.

7 03 2012
May

Actually, it would be a waste. Why raise awareness and expend energy trying to overcome a problem in the past instead of learning about and confronting issues of the present? And most importantly, if your effort does no good, then it’s basically just a “feel good” Western attempt at showing that rich North American kids have feelings for people on the other side of the world. I’d say that’s pretty shameful. Maybe in 6 years or so, you’ll read up on the massacre currently happening in Syria and try to raise awareness about that too.

7 03 2012
Kelly

I believe the awareness causes people to pressure governments to act or companies or charities (It was the blowback on the web that caused Susan G Komen foundation to change course) We can pressure companies to pull ads from objectionable shows, and we can pressure governments to act on key issues. The video called itself an experiment. I bet it is effective.

17 03 2012
robmorganaust

You’re correct, but it’s hard to get people to listen to information rather than packaged emotion. Keep trying…

7 03 2012
poisonuranus

Reblogged this on Nothing in particular from no one in particular and commented:
and then there’s this….this makes a lot of sense…

7 03 2012
Fraser

This has really surprised me, reading this and then looking at Facebook- with everyone making events and changing profile pictures makes me a little concerned, if not disheartened. If this is the case and he is not a concern anymore (on the scale that is thought)- then what is going to happen?
What is going to be accomplished by this massive uproar from the world from an issue that is so late?
It disheartens me because I think of the issues that are current now, which could easily be solved with this much publicity…

7 03 2012
Greg

He’s going to be arrested and held accountable for his past actions??? Which will then help shed light on other things of a similar nature happening elsewhere in the world? How is this not obvious to you? You know, this is exactly the kind of thinking that keeps the Turkish Government from owning up to its past over the Armenian Genocide. People think, “It happened, it’s over, they stopped, no need to hold them accountable for their actions.” The point is that we need to make him a concern again, or else he gets away with his crimes.

7 03 2012
Kelly

Why should he get away with the things he has done. Why shouldn’t he be held accountable for his actions. This should be an eye opener for everyone to see that just because we live in a perfect world lots of people don’t.

7 03 2012
20yr/olst

E.g. The killing of Osama Bin Laden for terrorism against U.S. Kony should be held accountable for his crimes too

7 03 2012
7 03 2012
Selling Old Newspapers Shouldn’t Be Profitable: Invisible Children and Kony 2012 « travelling while black

[...] One blogger made a pretty good analogy to what this looks like in American terms: I’m going to compare what IC is doing to an analogy that I thought of this past summer when I was Uganda thinking about this issue. Imagine that today you heard about what happened in NYC and Washington DC on September 11, 2001 for the first time. You were shown a video of footage from that day. You saw the planes hit the towers, you heard President Bush’s address, you saw the Pentagon wreckage, you watch in horror as you see people plunge to their death, jumping from the burning towers. Now imagine that you are inspired by this disaster. You want to something to help. What if you went to NYC today, expecting to see piles of rubble to clean up? What if you went, expecting that there would be thousands of people in the streets crying, looking for loved ones? But what would happen when you arrived and discovered that there was none of this, but a whole host of other problems? (http://ilto.wordpress.com/2006/11/02/the-visible-problem-with-invisible-children/) [...]

7 03 2012
Shannon

The video clearly says that the LRA has left Uganda they show a map and a red shaded area moving. Couldnt be much clearer. Why shouldn’t there be help for the countries it has now moved to just because it originated in Uganda and that is where the campaign originated?
And where does the information that he is on his last legs come from? If he can’t be found and few people manage to escape how do you know this?

7 03 2012
Yasmin

Surely it’s better to do a little, badly, than to do nothing at all?

7 03 2012
Invisible Children And Kony 2012 Are Not What They Seem – Joe Renken Has A Blog

[...] Uganda by the film, is practically non-existent now. Why? Peace is coming to the region.” (Source). I’ve also learned that Invisible Children Inc isn’t even accredited by the Better [...]

7 03 2012
7 03 2012
Invisible Children And Kony 2012 Exposed – Joe Renken Has A Blog

[...] Uganda by the film, is practically non-existent now. Why? Peace is coming to the region.” (Source). I’ve also learned that Invisible Children Inc isn’t even accredited by the Better [...]

7 03 2012
Greg

Sooooo, just because the LRA are no longer in Uganda, we should stop trying to find and arrest Kony? That’s some ludicrous thought right there.

Also, the US Government not doing anything in Rwanda was a fault of the people in the US. They didn’t know or care that it was happening, hence why there was no discourse or political pressure to do something. If WE don’t say anything to our government, then they won’t do anything because they are only an extension of us. If WE decide WE want our government helping a country because it’s the morally correct thing to do, then our government will do it. That’s how this works, see. If we are complacent, they see no reason to go and help. If we aren’t, and we tell them to stop their petty election year antics and focus on something ACTUALLY IMPORTANT, then they will. WE OWN THEM AND THEY KNOW IT.

And BTW, IC is doing more to change complacency about issues like this around the world with their rag-tag sh!t organization than you are with your little essay about how they are terrible and why we shouldn’t help them.

17 03 2012
robmorganaust

Is it really complacency, or just a previous lack of awareness in the community? Complacency implies something happens that was desperately needed.
The broader consensus, other than that promoted by I-C, is that everything that can reasonably be done has been happening, and focusing attention, and money, on Kony himself is now counter-productive.

There is not a fraction of similarity between the mass genocide in Rwanda and the current situation in Uganda and its adjoining countries – read up on it.

7 03 2012
Nicole

You say that we need to educate ourselves. YOU need to educate yourself. You have not experienced Uganda. By travelling there and being in the midst of a displacement camp, you have merely engaged with a part of it, but who are you to truly know it? You speak from your own position of privilege yet you trivialize the very COMPLEX issues which many Africans face on a day-to-day basis. Throwing money is not the solution, yes, but undermining, villainzing and perpetuating false dichotomies of various African peoples, like the South Sudanese for their reliance on handouts and their “laziness” (as you seem to think it is) is far worse. You give these people in desperate need zero agency and you disempower them.

Doing something (IC) is better than doing absolutely nothing but running your mouth.

7 03 2012
An Smith

Well said, couldn’t agree more.

7 03 2012
Nan

Doing something is not always better than doing nothing. I’m sorry, but good intentions are not enough. There are countless examples out there of aid projects that have either done more harm to the people they were intended to help than good, or acheived nothing besides being a dump for donors’ and governments’ money. If you want examples you can read about some here: http://givewell.org/international/technical/criteria/impact/failure-stories In those cases it is actually much better to run your mouth and make noise about ineffective, wasteful and harmful interventions.

10 03 2012
matt

Hugely going to agree with this point.

I do not doubt the intentions of the majority of the supporters of the campaign to raise awareness of Kony’s acts, but understanding the multiple facets of the real situation MUST come before anyone should even suggest solutions. Medicating a patient without a diagnosis will not heal him.

I’m not here to specifically bash IC’s intentions to help, but if your only knowledge of the LRA is from their video, you really have been fed some doctored facts on the situation. It is much more than this one-dimmensional problem as advertised at face value.

How often is the inherent racial violence between the Baganda and Acholi ever mentioned? What about the Holy Spirit Movement under Alice Auma that convinced multitudes of Acholi nationalists to wage war against the corrupt Ugandan government after coating their chests in shea butter to make them bullet proof and being told the rocks they were holding above their heads would turn to grenades when they threw them? What about the rape, looting, and oppression the UPDA went about doing after the one-sided battle against the HSM that inspired Kony to swear vengence and use his end goal to justify the means of achievement?

Has anyone even mentioned the 100 US special task force personel authorized in 2008 to aid the UPDA?

Raising awareness on the situation is wonderful, but spreading the real, full story is the key here. IC has completely whitewashed the corrupt Ugandan government, UPDA, and Moseveni from any responsibilty for their attrocious actions regarding the situation.

While really, we mean well to help the area, why not correct mistakes we have made in the past instead of blindly, arrogantly, ignorrantly, and irresponsibly deciding what is best for the area?

I mean not to chide or discourage those wishing to make a difference, calculate the consequences of your actions before you pull the trigger. Giving military aid to the Ugandan government would essentially be funding more corruption, not to mention a genocide –

http://www.newstatesman.com/human-rights/2009/11/sexual-gay-uganda-bill-person

7 03 2012
An Smith

There always has to be someone negative…guess its you this time. It is never too late to make a difference for anything, even if it’s small. Don’t ruin it for everyone.

7 03 2012
Sally Jo Keen

Kony has kidnapped 30 children this month alone, tell me he’s not still a threat.

7 03 2012
Nikki

Where did you read/see/hear that?

7 03 2012
Sally Jo Keen

http://www.lracrisistracker.com/ The number now is 55

7 03 2012
Alexa

I think the main reason why this article–as old as it is–has been brought up is because someone has cited it as a means of contradiction against IC. I came to this article expecting something, when I realized that this post was made in 2006, I was confused. Yes, I understand, it’s still something to think about, but when you’re trying to stop the support of IC after the kick start of KONY 2012 with an article that’s six years old, you’ll start a lot of debate that doesn’t need to be started.

This man is still a threat that that’s what the movement is about. Raising awareness of this man and the fact that these kinds of problems are real problems in the world.

IC has done a brilliant job in bringing in awareness to these kinds of foreign conflicts. Before, we were only limited to what our local news can tell us. The crimes of Kony have been going on for 26 years and barely anyone knew about it till now. IC is basically telling us that in this day an age, we are able to gain new information from all over the world to what is happening.

Now, I think it was at the fault of the poster of the original blog post I came across for citing such an old article. I don’t know what IC was like back then, but I’m sure some things have changed.

7 03 2012
anon

*sigh* at the end of the day if everyone refused to send aid, donations, etc whether mindlessly or not we would be accused of being selfish basically we will never win.

7 03 2012
Benjamin K.

I just wanted to add some information I found on the web. First of all other than the internet I have no personal information as I have no experience in Uganda but I can cite my sources and you readers can see for yourselves what you want to think.

Those who said the IC has no information what so ever, on the home page of IC I found:

“The LRA left Uganda for good once the Juba Peace Talks began in 2006. Since 2008, they have carried out their attacks in the border regions of northeastern Congo, South Sudan, and Central African Republic.”

http://www.invisiblechildren.com/history-of-the-war

So yes, there is some truth to the “problem” with invisible children, but there is evidence out there to show that Kony is still alive and that he is STILL terrorizing. Regardless of the current state of Uganda, I think the Kony 2012 project and IC still has a purpose and that is to STOP Kony from continuing his acts of terror.

“LRA is believed to be responsible for the 2009 ‘Makombo massacre’ in the Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC), which saw 321 people killed. At one time, Uganda managed to draft an agreement, which had, among others, guaranteed amnesty to Kony and his followers in case they agreed to disarm. But the rebel leader chose not to honour the agreement.”

http://www.thecitizen.co.tz/magazines/32-political-platform/16674-why-is-us-interested-in-kony-now.html

Here is a LRA Crisis tracker if you are curious about Kony’s movement. Whether it is accurate or not, I leave for you to find out.

As for wondering where your money goes, you can actually find it on the invisible children website or google. For instance, school for schools program can be found at

http://s4s.invisiblechildren.com/

In fact, when you donate on Invisible children (the actual site not Kony) you can choose where you want your money to go to.

Respectfully,
Ben.

7 03 2012
Penster

Talk about missing a point. The point is not that Kony is weakened and starving and in hiding. The point is justice. Would American people have been happy to know that Bin Laden was just weakened, sick and in hiding for the rest of his days? Of course not. The American people wanted justice. You are using a misdirection here to take away from point. The point being justice. Only justice will finally rid the people of Uganda of fear. Fear that this man will come again in the night to steal their children.

I don’t think building schools or wells for water or an early warning system was wasting money. It is nice to sit in middle class suburbia and write a blog about American going to Uganda and wasting money when you already have schools, hospitals, water and security. These kids that go out there are taking back a valuable experience. Who are you to deny them that experience. If they help someone while doing it all the better. How do you know that they have just wasted time and money? Accusations are easy to fling around and negativity is easier to spread than a positivity. And that is again where you miss the point of this video that is currently doing the rounds. I said earlier that this is about justice. The other thing that this video and movement is about is hope, determination and togetherness.

7 03 2012
Kelly

“They” said the same thing about OBL (dialysis, hiding in a cave) I thought of that when I read the beginning of this blog. OBL didn’t seem so bad off when he was killed.

7 03 2012
Nish

Before I make note of some points I take issue with, I do admit that I don’t know enough about Invisible Children and their effectiveness etc nor of the situation concerning the LRA, however I am determined to learn more, from both camps. Would love to hear opposing views but I also feel compelled to argue my own point of view.
1. I don’t believe your 9/11 analogy holds considering the LRA is still committing atrocities are still being being carried out in other African countries. And I’d like to think this information comes from a pretty reliable source: the UNHCR. “UNHCR is very concerned at the recent displacement of several thousand people as a result of renewed attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Orientale province.”

http://www.unhcr.org/4f55f6079.html

2. Peace is coming but who’s not to say this campaign won’t accelerate efforts? One child more is one child too many.
3. I am taking the time to find out what’s going on today!! Can’t speak for everyone, but this isn’t the extent of my interest in Uganda! For instance, I am reading up on progress in Uganda in relation to the MDGs.
4. Foreign aid isn’t perfect and things definitely have to change so that recipients become self-reliant but we need to start somewhere; besides efforts are continuously being made to improve aid distribution/practices/effectiveness.
5. ‘Self-centred American kids’. Maybe there’s truth to that. But is it so terrible that these kids are devoting their time & money to something worthwhile? I don’t agree with the ethics of so many overseas aid placements/trips but I think there is value to them if these kids are inspired to devote their lives to social justice or if this sparks an ongoing interest.
6. CUTTING FOREIGN AID? Jesus. Many third world nations are in no position to become independent now. That is the ideal goal and ideally, this aid should go towards initiatives which increase employment opportunities, create industries and jobs, establish sustainable agricultural practices, train people to meet the demand for services for healthcare and so on. The last thing we need is Westerners with a ‘I know what’s best attitude’ – that is definitely true. But working in tandem with local communities, governments and NGOs is I feel, where the solution lies.
I do agree with your point about researching about these issues and the organisations who are committed to these causes. Definitely transparency is always needed.
But the point made in the video: that making people aware and getting them to care, even if it is through seemingly ineffectual stunts like ‘sleeping in downtown Pittsburgh’, will show those in power that their priorities need to change accordingly. Surely that can’t be a bad thing.

7 03 2012
Aliyah

Good points made and I agree :)

7 03 2012
Aliyah

Personally, you have a point and throughout the whole video, I was pondering the same.

But, what is their motive besides wanting to help? Is there any other motive in them spending time and effort and a part of their lives dedicated to help these people?

And the money they gain, yes they keep a percentage but only for their resources in knowing what is going on in Uganda, such as the real time radio and the merchandise to produce, the merchandise used to spread the information.

They have nothing to be criticized upon. The Invisible Children could possibly spread their arms out a little more and try support more than just the riddance of Kony. If you are concerned about other issues in Africa besides Kony, then you start something, you try and help before you begin to point out the negatives of the Invisible Children.

But then again, don’t you believe that Kony should be captured for past crimes, even if he is dying? Do you believe he should leave this Earth unpunished for his sick crimes? Do you believe that no justice should be brought to this issue?

So what if he’s dying and starving, it’s only right if some sentencing is done to him.

I will support KONY 2012 but I will strive to support other existing issues. The video has not “brainwashed” myself, it has simply left me with an open mind and to be wary of the life I was given and how I should be greatful and make a difference.

Concerning your thoughts on ceasing aids to Africa, I disagree. If someone needs help and you have the extra resources, you help.

The above was purely my opinion.

7 03 2012
Cara Meintjes

This is a really important post and echoes a lot of what people were saying in the office this morning when we discussed the hype.

I’m glad the video is raising awareness about the havoc wreaked by the LRA, but I hope people also take the time to learn more. Even if Joseph Kony didn’t harm another single person as of today, Uganda will face multiple challenges dealing with its past and moving forward. These are people’s lives. People need to think long-term. Not just find the guy and kill him.

We are based in South Africa and we partnered with the Ugandan Justice and Reconciliation Project to do research about the challenges that Ugandans face, now that a fragile peace has been restored. There is more to the involvement of the International Criminal Court and the Ugandan Government itself than what is mentioned in that video.

I won’t put a link here in case it makes my comment look like spam, but you can just Google the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, or the Justice and Reconciliation Project in Uganda.

Cara Meintjes – intern at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation’s Justice and Reconciliation in Africa programme

7 03 2012
Kelly

Thank you for responding, I will look up your programme.

7 03 2012
Belle

I’d hardly call anyone in a third world country ‘greedy’, especially while typing away at your computer in a chair behind a desk in a room in a cozy house. So what if they’re selling UNICEF blankets and asking for handouts, we make enough money and are comfortable enough to support them, and we should, they can’t support themselves

7 03 2012
Belle

And the 9/11 analogy is not fitting at all, this guy has been capturing children and torturing people for a very long time, it wasn’t one single incident. He should definitely still go down and the LRA needs to be stopped

7 03 2012
20yr/olst

Bin Laden reference is being used to say that when Americans were terrorized they did everything in their power to stop him and bring him to justice for the mass genocide. Basically saying Kony (+ LRA) should ALSO be stopped and held accountable. If Kony had committed these crimes in America you would want justice even if he did leave to set up his operation in another country. So I think the Kony2012 movement is still valid even though he did leave Uganda where most of the crimes were being committed.

7 03 2012
alee

cant people stop trying to tell other people where to put their money. I mean, someone buys a pack of smokes daily, or pays 60 dollars to watch UFC. Or for gosh sakes, pays 500 dollars for a hockey ticket. If spending your money on those things isnt a ‘problem that should be attended to’ then what in the hell is? Whether or not they get all proceeds, theyre are getting some type of help. they do not have a lulu lemon in uganda or a starbucks that generates money as we greedily forget we do. The fact that this organization isnt being entirely self centered is a lot more then wht most of us can say to begin with. In my opinion, if your the one working your arse off for allllll the money in the world and have your name stamped on it, by all means instruct us on where to spend. But if ur not going to write an article about starbucks, jersey shore, high paid athletes or mark zukerburg then you shouldnt be talking at all. Not to mention, we all sweat for our money and if some of us would like to use it as toilet paper, that, sadly, would be our own choice to make, so if we decide to spend a whole, TEN dollars or THIRTY, god forbid, let us.

7 03 2012
20yr/olst

Well said. As stated earlier it’s better to spend it on charity than to “leave it sitting in my account for the next maccas run”. Still there may be more worthwhile charities do it is always good to do some research. Who knows you might find that IC does have the best cause and allocation of funds ( I’m still undecided)

7 03 2012
Stanisha

I was really surprised about how negative this article was because I never thought that giving help was a bad thing.
Africa is in bad shape. We all know that, but Africa has been shape for years, and the first sign of a movement trying to help them you think its a bad thing?
For those of you asking where Invisible Children money goes, there’s a lot of different projects. IC just doesn’t throw money at them. We build radio towers to help warn and record attacks on villages, we are trying to build rehabilitation centers to help the children Kony abducted, creating jobs, we are giving scholarships, and building schools.
I’m sorry, but if that is helping too much, than I rather help too much, then have us back off and have Kony gain control have.
May I ask what year you went to Africa? And where did you get all your information from?
From what I see, you are doing no good by bashing IC instead of posting suggests and solutions.

7 03 2012
ashleytallas103

Reblogged this on Ashley Tallas.

7 03 2012
Kony 2012 - Is it really a big Deal?

[...] out INvisible Children and Kony are a scam, well basically http://ilto.wordpress.com/2006/11/02…ible-children/ http://theeducatedfieldnegro.tumblr….we-got-trouble We got trouble. visiblechildren: You do [...]

7 03 2012
anon

I agree partially, but the video that’s up does say that Uganda is in a relative peace. And I think the important message is what humans can do that is good. You see so much bad, but something like this can unite so many people.
At least this article is still doing what the video wants, stirring things up and making Kony more famous.

7 03 2012
chriss

so you think these people are spending all there time on raising money for free, nobody can live for free, the guy that made most of this happen must be extremely determined on this as he has been doing it for years, who cares if not all the money is getting to them, they don’t just need money not everything revolves around money, i strongly believe that if you asked one of them poor people if they wanted money or to be free finally they would answer in seconds saying to be free, THEY NEED FREEDOM and this is the most likely way for them to have it.

7 03 2012
Kelly

How can you say that there is nothing going on there? Weather or not he has been forced out the people still live in poverty. The children are still not going to school. Open your eyes just because a war has been stopped doesn’t mean there is not work to be done.

7 03 2012
thephysicsofme

Took the words right out of my mouth

7 03 2012
thephysicsofme

The movie clip DOES say that Uganda is now in peace talk and that the worst is over, it doesn’t try to hide that fact. The point is Kony still walks a free man, be it on his last legs. This is what the video is calling on us for, to let our government know we want justice served.

7 03 2012
Elizabeth

I don’t feel that this is what it is all about… everyone wants Kony arrested! No ones spreading the word about Uganda… if we arrest him than its a win for us all!! Not only for the people in Uganda but its giving our generation today a hope that we can make a difference! Let us all have that atleast… no organisation is perfect!! You’re right we don’t know what is going on in Uganda but the video does say that in 2012 we ARE going to see him arrested! So its not out of date… What his doing is wrong!! They said in the video also that its moved from Uganda! He isn’t telling us all to donate money to Uganda or go there and “save” them! No, they’re telling us to get out there and be aware that this sort of thing is constantly happening and that WE ALL need to do something about it!! Atleast invisible children isn’t being so negative and actually letting us think and showing us how we CAN make a difference!

7 03 2012
samih

Some interesting points are made here, but the idea of the KONY 2012 campaign is to raise the profile of a war criminal – not send money or pretentious students to Africa. In this aim I think the ‘MTV-style’ films work and achieve their goals.

7 03 2012
20yr/olst

Indeed. If they had used a less popular media (rather than the MTV style video) e.g. a documentary, their audience may have been fewer. Their aim is to reach as many people as possible. Why wouldn’t they use the most popular style video?

7 03 2012
Kony 2012

[...] [...]

7 03 2012
Mitchell Goff

I was with you, right up to the point where you started sounding like a conspiracy theorist.

I do appreciate the additional light you shed on the issue, but the normative elements remain: there -has- been foreign intervention in Africa and in the case of hunting the LRA, it -has- been effective.

If you want to start a debate on the merits or otherwise of intervention, please do, but this particular scenario doesn’t settle that argument in the negative, anything but.

Invisible Children has made people more aware and in fact more sensitive to foreign affairs, poverty and child slavery, if that is all it had managed to achieve, then surely that is progress of a sort?

7 03 2012
Breina

Wow. The new IC video hit my Facebook wall like a fast-spreading disease today. In 2012. Your article I’m lead to believe is 6 years old?

Ok. You make several INCREDIBLY valid points and I absolutely respect them. I’m a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed kid looking to make a difference so I shared the video as fast as I could.
It didn’t occur to me that they didn’t send trained professionals to Uganda, but that really upsets me. I hate when people throw money at problems, likewise how inexperienced goodwill doesn’t really do much.
On the other hand, your piece is now somewhat out of date, seeing Barack Obama actually committed a few people to head over and kill/capture Kony. What do you think of this? Now that the USA is involved with the proper tools necessary to end Kony, doesn’t that change a couple of things?
Also, this new video says they’re helping to make education better, is that not good?

Thanks! You opened my eyes, from the past.

7 03 2012
Fuck You!

Really? All these guys are doing is trying to help people. Pull your head outta your ass.

7 03 2012
cllmspncr

Thats the point of the whole video, to give people who do care, an actual outlet to at least give as much help as they can. I’m not saying that what your article is suggesting could be false. I’m merely saying that this campaign by IC now represents a younger generations chance to actually DO something. Much like IC is using Kony as a focussed and single representation for Uganda’s problems. I see this KONY 2012 campaign being a representation of the positive things this planet can do together utilising the online space.

And no I didn’t know anything about Kony before that video. But thats what is so exciting, this plan of action has travelled across the world to me, into my facebook, inbox, tumblr, twitter feed and into my consciousness. It’s the idea that Oh My God, we can actually do something, we can actually contribute to a cause and it is the technology of OUR time that has allowed this to happen.

Whats the problem with people feeling that feeling? Like the world can now unite for a cause together and create actual change, maybe Australia gets enough attention through it’s parliament that all of a sudden we as a country believe that our government DOES listen to us, and DOES send aid where it can.

There are far too many positives to come out of this campaign. It shows us that we do live in a world without borders now, this is actual proof of that. It gives people hope that they could help even if they live thousands of kilometers away. I bought an action pack, I donated, I will be going out to put posters up on the 20th, I’ve signed up to TRI. It may be a bandwagon to be jumped on, it could be a fashion trend, but i dont care, acts of selflessness has now been pushed to the foreground of peoples consciousness. That YES, little things they do can have a big change, that YES they are part of a wider community that cares. and that YES their voice has an audible tone outside their country when united with others in a community.

I’m glad to hear that things are getting better in Uganda already, who wouldn’t want that? Their path is going to be filled with trouble and lessons to be learnt. The worst case scenario for their problems being put into the spot light are that they have an entire world looking at them for the way forward, to set an example for other developing countries. But i see this as a bigger picture triumph for the world. That young people like myself DO care about global problems. and most importantly that is IS ACTUALLY POSSIBLE to create campaigns that have a ripple around the planet.

With all the negative problems that we are constantly surrounded by, KONY 2012 gives me hope in our future, and gives me hope in the people i’m growing up with.

7 03 2012
Ryan

Your a twat. The IC group are using Uganda as an example as to what is happening in some areas of Africa. If they were in another region of Africa which the L.R.A were terrorising, then they would have used that as the example. You can’t expect to make the world known to these problems overnight, it takes TIME believe it or not. Now that the problem is known world-wide, people are now chasing Joseph Kony WHEREVER he may run and hide, and not just in Uganda.

7 03 2012
You are shite

You are disappointed that you cannot offer any plausible solution and you bashed the people who are trying to do something. You are one of the many reasons why the world is fucked up.

7 03 2012
Brianna Keeping

I agree that there are many issue that need to be addressed in Africa… All over the world for that matter. However, I also believe each person who has become involved in Kony 2012 did so because they felt as though they were making a difference, and they care about the children and families who have been affected by Kony. It’s not necessarily JUST about stopping Kony from hurting again, but to also bring justice to those who have been mutilated, killed, or lost someone close to them. I have made the pledge and I will share the video… I don’t think it matters necessarily if other people believe I am wasting my time, because it matters to me what these people are doing, and it matters to all the children and families. Making a difference matters, no matter how small or how big. I believe Kony should be arrested for what he did, and if my small contributions can help make that happen I will be proud. Kony does not deserve to walk on this earth freely.

7 03 2012
Kelly

If this campaign shows any success, it will have validated the “experiment” and then those other problems can see the same attention within the sphere of social media and an ever more interconnected world.

7 03 2012
Emily

Your a dick!!!!!!!!

7 03 2012
Ashley

The video stated he is out of Uganda but he is still out there. You should pay more attention to the video.

7 03 2012
Just another person

This article is 2006 not 2012. You should pay more attention to the article.

7 03 2012
One Strong Supporter!

Wow you really think the LRA will just cease to exist? The support these amazing people are trying to gather isnt just for Uganda, its for the whole of Africa affected by the LRA. Sure Kony may be on his last legs, but the real support is to stop the LRA in general. Kony is just the figure head that will move this motion in stopping the LRA and once Kony either dies or gets arrested someone will move up the chain and take over Kony’s job. get you head out of the gutter and support invisible children that looks to stop the LRA for good, so that kids in Africa can have a life at least a quarter as good as yours, because right now, if you were in the affected areas of Africa, you would want foreign support…..

7 03 2012
7 03 2012
7 03 2012
turntech

For me, the reason we’re doing “Make Kony Infamous” is because there is a war criminal out there who needs to be found – regardless of peace coming to the region. I mean – if things are improving, then that is fantastic! However, to prevent taking a few steps backwards, Kony still needs to be found, and he needs to answer for the events that happened BEFORE the improvements started.

7 03 2012
Jason

“They are fed, clothed, protected, and sent to school without having to do anything.”

Ha! sounds like they are almost westernised! Is that not what we do in our countries? The problem of being reliant on the corrupt system is not an African problem it is a global one..

7 03 2012
Jason

P.S. Where is your blog about Saddam and how the war on terror was actually a war for western financial security because we have built our economy on a resource?

P.P.S. Please list all the things (actions) you have done to make a difference then your blog will have some validity. Until then, please go back to your university books…

7 03 2012
Megan

I agree with you a hundred percent. People lovevsending money off to some group, thinking that its on its way to some poor ciuntry, when it is really just put on what I call the ‘gravy train’, which takes all the moneybsent over and gives it to the presidents of the country, and other important people, so that they can buy themselves a new mansion and more cars. Make sure you fully research a company before donating noney, because most of the time, the poor purple or animals it is intended for never actually recieve it

7 03 2012
fight for justice

The fact that you can even write a blog like this on the internet just proves you don’t know shit, honestly most of those kids in Africa wouldn’t know what a computer is and here you are suggesting that people who are trying to make a difference by not only providing a better future for these kids by giving them education (which might i remind a few of you is the reason why donations are asked for) but they’re also giving them a chance to have a normal childhood not filled with violence and death! at the very least don’t slag on what others are doing, you don’t have to be a part of it, so why the bloody hell would you go and post something like this? no matter what you say, it isn’t going to make a difference, this movement will keep going stronger than ever, regardless of what you might say!

7 03 2012
KL

AGREED!!!!!!!!!!

7 03 2012
Mymmy

The fact that you think the fact that the author has internet access proves that he doesn’t know shit proves that you didn’t understand his point.

7 03 2012
nijibug

Thank you for taking the time to write about your experiences and thoughts on the issue. Please don’t be discouraged by the bullies in the comments; never take this article down! I think your insight is important and should be shared and discussed.

7 03 2012
jd210

I think you’ve missed the point really, IC are building schools etc but the main Kony campain is about forcing governments to do things that are right not because it’s in their interest. the G8 nations have great power and with that they must also act as the world police where other nations are not able or willing. Kony may be dieing in a jungle but shouldn’t he still face trial? to pay for the horrific crimes he has commited?

7 03 2012
KL

Where are your sources for your claims? It doesn’t mean anything if you can’t show this information comes from reliable websites too. And no, wikipedia, news websites and your opinion are not valid credentials. You even said yourself that you don’t even really know if what you are saying is true or how accurate it is. Anyone with a degree or brain should be able to see through this info, and realise that this is an opinion and it is completely bias. Please show your support for Invisible Children, do not let this alter your view.

7 03 2012
Mymmy

Right. Opinions, the news, and Wikipedia are biased so nobody should listen to them or read them. Obviously there is an obvious unbiased source (which you clearly have personal access too) where we should all get all our 100% true unbiased information and never read anything else again. Thank you for your wisdom.

7 03 2012
That Guy...

I understand where he’s coming from.. however the video was mostly about informing about the LRA’s actions and on capturing Kony… rather than aid towards Uganda… this is on the slightest relevance towards the videos main point.

7 03 2012
Ashley

You have completely missed THE ENTIRE POINT OF THE VIDEO!!! Just because Joseph Kony is in another country now, starving or otherwise, does not in any way, shape or form absolve him of what he has done to the Ugandan people. This is about bringing Joseph Kony to answer for what he’s done to the 30000+ children he and the LRA have put into slavery or mutilated or whatever the crime may be. HE IS A WAR CRIMINAL!!! What part of that do you fail to comprehend?!

Complete and utter idiot. Please think before you write something as poorly written as this again.

7 03 2012
Joan

This article was written in 2006. The author was watching a different video.

7 03 2012
The off topic, venting and talking shit thread. - Page 675 - Ausbb - Australian BodyBuilding

[...] are fucking retarded… some interesting links, for those that care (which better be noone!) the visible problem with invisible children i’m a fan of postcards Invisible Children – Wikipedia, the free [...]

7 03 2012
Tom

Really? You’ve been to Africa and write an article relating only to Uganda? Yes, LRA has moved from Uganda, we all know this. They are, however, still active. Did you give a thought at all to the countries they are now infesting? Your entire article smacked of lower-middle class priviledge. The whole, ‘give a mana fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime’ logic just falls down. For example, what does he eat while learning to fish? Also, I caught no scent of desiring to educate anyone in the finer points of angling. The whole thing was, ‘I don’t want to give away any of my “hard-earned” money to anybody, so I’ll concoct some reasonable sounding excuse for it. That way I can continue to pretend to be a good person without having to inconvenience myself at all.’

7 03 2012
lauises

I don’t doubt the positive intentions of IC. I do believe every living being has a right to live and such atrocities by Kony are unacceptable.

But the thoughts of this author is still valid. Like he says at the end, he doesn’t know the answer. I think we should all support IC but at the same time, what’s next?

Simultaneously, don’t forget that after #1 Kony is captured…there’s still going to be #2, #3, #4….to take his place. If you are really sincere about taking down Kony, then don’t forget to help take down the rest of them.

Honestly, I don’t see that that’s going to happen because I’m sure a large number of people are only supporting this campaign for a cultural reason. To be “part of history” and fulfill their self-important mindset.

Hate me for all you want. I just hope people can take Kony 2012 as a STEP but not a SOLUTION.

7 03 2012
Tom

That’s kinda the point of the current campaign. Get this fucker first because he’s the top of the list. Then go after the others, one by one.

7 03 2012
Nick

Since when has morality ever been a priority for American foreign policy? If we are supporting justice in Africa, are we also interested in supporting justice in other parts of the world? Is justice something that we can vote on, and make petitions about? Kony is an easy character to vilify– he’s clearly a crook and lacks real power.

And if you ask Serbs, Bill Clinton is clearly a crook. If you ask Egyptians, Tantawi is a crook. If you ask Israelis, Abbas is a terrorist. If you ask Palestinians, Netanyahu is a crook… so where do we draw the line?

7 03 2012
Matt

Before commenting be aware this article is from 2006 (in case you failed to notice).

7 03 2012
Emily

Indeed, anything can change in six years including IC’s practices, the situation in Uganda, etc. Don’t take the article at face value and get angry, because it’s six years old. Maybe look into what IC is doing with their money this PAST year (2011 revenue figures should be out!) and look and see what they have done since this article is written if you are concerned about where your money is going.

Then again you shouldn’t take anything you hear/see/read on the internet at face value if you ever want to make a difference in the world, including both this article as well as the IC Kony 2012 video. You should be using your own mind to make your own decisions once you’ve looked deeper past a single blog article or a single video.

Seeing a video and then blindly rushing out to throw money at a problem does not make the problem go away; sometimes it might actually hurt the situation. If you don’t know where your money is going, what your money is being used for, FIND OUT. I’m not saying that IC has shady business practices; this is for any charity or any situation that you might ever throw your money at. You should always know exactly where your money is going, what your money is doing, and that is being an informed, smart individual in a society equipped to help.

7 03 2012
ben

Well done for going to Africa and writing a negative article about people who are trying to achieve something. Instead of criticising the campaign why don’t you join it if you’ve seen the pain caused. He may not be as strong as before but he hasn’t been brought to justice and if you believe that is ok after visiting the country affected by him then I believe you have issues.

7 03 2012
Mymmy

‘INSTEAD OF CRITICIZING IT WHY DON’T YOU JOIN IT’

FUCK. I bet he never thought of that. Good thing you mentioned it he will probably do it since you had super good reasons for him to join. I don’t doubt that one day you will be the voice of logic and reason of the entire world. Glad to have clever people like you around, who get mad at people for going to Africa and having negative opinions. Those assholes. Everyone in Africa needs to come back happy and positive. That’s the fucking LAW

7 03 2012
Mel

There is an interesting book which discusses aid problems in several countries in Africa called Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux. Its a bit of a slog as he often goes off on tangents, but worth a read. Anything I’ve read or experienced in my travels shows an extremely complex situation where there is no easy or apparent solution. There is validity in both arguments, though I am certainly wary of fundraising organisations where the majority of the funds do not make it to the cause.

7 03 2012
Zippy

Hey guys,

Lets use a bit of common sense here ok.

Before we start believing the video we all watched about Kony AND before we agree/disagree with the person who wrote this article, take a step back.
Put yourself in a neutral position and collect facts.

How do we know that the video IS legit? I mean yes Africa is poor. We do know genocide, rape and murders are committed. But to what extent? Can anyone show me a dossier with hard evidence proving this? So Kony has done some bad things, but reminding everyone THE EXTENT. AND NO wikipedia does not count.

And you, the person who wrote this article, where is your evidence? Ok so you are writing from YOUR experiences, but how do we know you are telling the truth?

We have to remember, we cant just send a kill squad in there. This would violate the geneva convention. A probable cause mission would be more realistic in terms of if Kony declared war on the U.S, then the U.S could deploy troops. We all remember mogadishu in 1991.

So before we argue with ourselves and who is right and wrong, lets collect more information.

7 03 2012
Tom

There are currently U.S forces in this area put in place specifically to help rid the world of this guy. That, alone, suggests that there exists hard evidence of the propositions. Also, this is in no way the first time these allegations have been raised. I first came across them myself in 2007 upon reading Cristopher Hitchens’ ‘God is not Great’.
Also, nobody is endorsing a ‘kill squad’. Seriously, grow up. What is suggested is a continuance of the pressure already applied on the US congress to ensure that they don’t back out from ‘lack of interest’.
By the way, if the US is going to go ahead and act like they have the right to be the police of the world, then they have a responsibility to act in cases of mass injustice where they cannot expect to reap millions in oil. Otherwise, the rest of us are going to defy your right to act as you will around the world.

9 03 2012
Zippy

Mate, its just a fuckin typical american thing.

You don’t see the Russians or Italians sending in teams to decrease hostility. And i already mentioned Mogadishu in 1991 and the mistake the Americans made getting involved there. AND THIS crusade sounds EXTREMELY similar .
BTW ‘kill squad’ is a metaphor. But hey, SEAL TEAM 6 killed laden without bringing him to justice, So anything is possible with the U.S

7 03 2012
Mymmy

HI!

Where is YOUR proof!? FOR EVERYTHING YOU WROTE!!!

YES. According to your standards of necessity of proofs everybody who writes anything from their experiences must have solid evidence!!! NO MORE OPINIONS WITHOUT DOCUMENTED VIDEO EVIDENCE OF WHERE HE GOT ALL OF HIS OPINIONS FROM!!!

I, and I’m sure many other people here, are very upset that you are worried that somebody might not be telling the truth to you.

DON’T TRUST ANYBODY AND DON’T LEAVE YOUR HOUSE. IF YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO SOMEONE, DON’T LISTEN, BECAUSE HOW DO YOU KNOW THEY’RE TELLING THE TRUTH!?

9 03 2012
Zippy

Yes. Very true and thats why Im having no part in all this Kony nonsense!

7 03 2012
kf

Sources? Any? At all?

7 03 2012
J

author is just being selfish and one sided.

7 03 2012
KONY 2012: Armchair Activism at its Worst | Gossipian

[...] watched it yet you might be surprised to hear that Joseph Kony is not the star of the video, Jason Russell, founder of IC, [...]

7 03 2012
Cetre

Wow at the comments…. If I give one dollar and it saves a life…even if $.80 of it profits five people, deserving of it or not…at the end of the day, I’ve saved a life. That’s a start..not perfect, but it’s a start. And I’m okay with that.

I guess we simply need to ask ourselves what’s our end of the day moment. Whatever your answer, allow that to motivate you to do whatever it is you’re going to do.

The video’s goal was to “make Kony famous”…looks like it’s working. I’m now interested in finding out about other “Kony’s”. And you know what, at the end of the day, I’m okay with that too.

7 03 2012
Mymmy

Dear Cetre,

We are sorry to inform you that you have been given misleading information. Lifesaving is actually not viable, because the Philosopher’s Stone doesn’t exist.

7 03 2012
Jessica

While there are a lot of things that I can comment on, I just wanted to say quickly that IC has no intentions to stay in Uganda forever, as was suggested in this post. Their ultimate goal is to go out of business so that the country can by self-sufficient.

7 03 2012
D_Jackal11

I’ve read a few comments (not all) and i have come to a conclusion. Isn’t the fact we’re talking about the issue IC has brought to the world, a good thing? I for one, woke up this morning not know who the hell Joseph Kony was. I do now. I also know there are more issues in Uganda then just him. All from the IC movement. Directly or indirectly. So if you agree or disagree with them, it doesn’t matter. The world is a wiser place this morning because of them. I think that’s great. I do semi regret buying the Action Kit though, if the money is going to go into renting a plush office in California!!

7 03 2012
michelle

This is an interesting article written with what seems like genuine distress to me. Having worked a lot with War Child more and more rape is being used as a tool of war and children are increasingly affected by war. For the person asking about evidence go over there, meet the kids read the articles. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/timesappeal/article3259716.eceOnly 38% of Invisible Childrens money actually gets to the children which seems lowto me. (It’s on their accounts on their website for anyone disputing) However, anything that draws attention to childrens suffering throughout the world cannot be a bad thing. I’ts happening in lots of countries, different dictators, different armies – still affecting kids!

7 03 2012
em3321

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Keep-Calm/2012/0307/Lord-s-Resistance-Army-After-long-silence-the-US-tracked-rebels-attack

My impression of the video is that they are aiming to keeping the issue on the radar of the US’ current administration. Yes, Kony and the LRAs numbers have dwindled. Yes, they are no longer in Uganda but in Congo. However, if the international community calls it a day now Kony and the LRA could again regain strength. It is more important that ever to put a stop to this once and for all while he is weak and on the run.

It is better to be proactive rather than retroactive.

7 03 2012
jcou

Hey this is a nicely written critique of the Invisible Children and if it is all true, then power to you. But I have a hard time believing some of these figures and statements without credible sources and citing.

Also, I think foreign aid is necessary for now, but we should be going about it at a different way, which is to provide Africa with the tools and knowledge to prosper once the foreign aid pulls out. Without international intervention, none of these improvements are possible.

7 03 2012
Charlie

There are so many comments on here I apologise if I am repeating others. For me, the world knowing about Kony is a big deal. This war (or whatever name you would like to give it) has been going on since the year I was born. The author is right in that there is now peace from the LRA in Uganda but many surrounding countries are still being affected by it. Kony may be “sick, starving, and on his last legs”, I do not know for sure, but this is a man who needs to be brought to justice. There are countless people who deserve that. I have met many people in Uganda who deserve to know that the man that caused them so much misery has been caught.

For those commenting on the percentage IC actually give to the field, I have no idea. But I will say I was extremely impressed when I went to the office in Gulu and discovered of around 90 staff members in Uganda, only 4 were non-Ugandan. I met some of the mentors for the students, and I saw some of the schools. IC is doing is a great thing, and without 3 boys randomly going to Sudan and then ending up in Uganda for the sake of a good story, I’m not convinced Kony would be “sick, starving, and on his last legs” in the Congo right now. Are you?

9 03 2012
BR

Charlie, wow! Yes, am convinced the “3 boys” didn’t push Kony out of Uganda…

Funnily, you mention the oft-repeated “random” trip to Sudan – but the way those “3 boys” describe “randomly” going to Sudan didn’t exactly happen that way. That part of the story will come out sooner or later, but for now the people in the know are benefitting from IC, so won’t talk.

More westerners knowing about a mad man isn’t going to help capture that man. There are 5,000 troops looking for him as we speak. The millions of people who now know something about the situation don’t affect the movement of these troops, all they potentially represent is a large cheerleading section when the US makes a kill and claims credit for the success. We definitely won’t hear about all the child soldiers killed in the process, however….

7 03 2012
Bree

Going to point out that this article was written in 2006,
“Information
Date : 2 November 06″
As of March 06, 2012, the LRA is not in peace and definitely not gone; http://www.voanews.com/english/news/Thousands-Flee-LRA-Attacks-in-Congo-141575123.html
The Invisible Children foundation is a good cause, they are registered with Charity Navigator; http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12429

If anyone is watching the recent Facebook push by them please ignore this article. Real research is necessary and not just random blog posts.

7 03 2012
Vanessa

Please pay attention to the dates of the comments and the article…

7 03 2012
Dorthee LeBlanc

The problem have with the blog is that its a very negative and biased point of view. Also the author quoted many facts buy did not list any sources to back them up. The author also stated that it was “old news” and that Kony had not been captured but that he was “on his last leg”. Since he has been pushed into hiding does that mean he is not required to be punished for his illegal and immoral acts against human kind? In my opinion, no; he should still have to pay for the crimes he committed. Also the author describes it as old news and compares it to 9/11. Even though 9/11 isn’t current news, there are still families and victims who suffer, and many organizations are currently helping those victims and families today. This goes the same for the children and people of Uganda. Children may not be being abducted today for Kony; yet the country and citizens should still be helped in order to prevent a similar inhumane leader. Also the Invisible Children project may not resolve the problem, which the blog did not offer any resolutions, but it does create awareness and generate donations which can help the local citizens of Uganda for food, clothing, shelter, medical aide, and education. Do you agree?

7 03 2012
Jennifer

Absolutely agree. Pol Pot (leader of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia) was responsible for the genocide of nearly 2 million of his own people. Everyone around the world futzed around in tracking him down that he died of natural causes before he was ever able to stand trial. Is that justice? I think not. And you are very en pointe about the awareness factor of the Invisible Children project. As a teacher, my students expressed frustration about wanting to help but not knowing how…this gives them some direction and they are excited and working because now they feel they CAN make a difference.

7 03 2012
Mymmy

NO SORRY

7 03 2012
Stephanie

He still has to be arrested, he still has to be caught. Now, capturing him will be symbolic rather than anything else. It is STILL a good cause.

I have read articles and journals like these a million times. Myanmar, Africa and other countries who have corrupted governments that the world cares enough only to give petty cash. Who is to equip the people for a good government?

7 03 2012
Preach the truth

thank you very much

this is just trying to discourage people from aiding.

I know people who have been affected due to Kony and he was also in my country trying to do same thing. There are many people dying in congo right and invisible children actually tries to help out. Something some government fail to do

7 03 2012
Let’s make Kony infamous. « back by dawn

[...] I’m not saying that Invisible Children is perfect or that everyone should donate to it. I’m only spreading awareness, that’s all. And that’s their main aim for this campaign. So go ahead, help the Africans and help yourself. Alternatively, for some light heavy reading that you’ll have to evaluate, head over here. [...]

7 03 2012
Jason

This article was written in 2006. Kony is still alive and the LRA still active now in March 2012. Obama last October deployed 100 US Troops to aid in defeating the LRA. So it looks like the IC did help bring some change and this article may be way off the mark!

7 03 2012
Brittni

While IC might not be the best non-profit in the world they indisputably have changed lives for the better and have at least brought issues to light that MILLIONS hadn’t heard about before. Knowledge is power and I hope that many people do research what is fully going on in Uganda now and I fully believe many people will because of their latest video. That in itself is victory. It’s just my opinion but, if one life is saved from their work (100% correct facts or not) then it’s worth the fight and I’ll support them and any organization that is trying to make a positive change in our world. There are flaws in any government, aide program, or organization but that should never stop people from trying to do good which is clearly what IC is trying to do. :) 

7 03 2012
Polkinya

Thanks for killing my chances of sleep for the night, I read this whole damn thing, and had to do a bunch of research. Fact is, you wrote this article in 2006, and it didn’t accomplish a single thing. I like many around the internet learned of this yesterday, and It is blowing UP. I’d say that makes for a good job on IC’s part. I’m not completely done scouring their financials, but it looks like a good year for the charity and a bad year for Kony. I don’t care if he’s in the Congo starving, or living fat on the hog. He deserves a bullet to the face. IC put on probably the most effective viral campaigns of all time, and that took money. I can guarantee Nation wide coverage by the end of the week, and sure wildfire by the end of April. Hate all you want, it’s effective.

7 03 2012
20yr/olst

Haha I’m in the process of study and research because of the video, this article and comments too. Just got up to your comment and it’s 3am. At least the IC and the person who wrote this article got us to think about the issue.

7 03 2012
The Reality Behind the #StopKony Campaign. « Get Back At Me

[...] Besides, they make a fairly large point about sending money to the Ugandan Military. This is a big no no for a couple of reasons. First of all, Kony isn’t even in Uganda. Funding a military that has no real authority over another country to LOOK in other countries, is a moronic idea to begin with. Secondly, the Ugandan military is already using this as an excuse to enter other countries and exploit resources from surrouding areas. The Government of Uganda is full of criminals that are worse than Kony himself. Not to mention the bloody PRESIDENT of Uganda is responsible for millions of deaths. Then you’ve got allegations coming out that Kony is already dead. The LRA (Konys ragtag bunch … [...]

7 03 2012
Joey The Annonymous Musician

For The Record, with all spot picking and nitty gritty stabbing of ones punctuation, grammar, history and all the other crap that goes with it…

This is a serious cause, a strong movement and a worthwhile investment of time into humanity.

If we were selfless for just one moment and reached out above our own piddly little existence, then we would rise up to meet the needs of our neighbors.

I don’t profess to know it all…NO…. but I do have an IQ of 143 and next year am tipped to make over 40 million of my art. so in short, I know what I’m talking about, however I am not diminishing your response sir, but perhaps let the people decide for themselves what they should be doing to assist the brokenhearted of this world… not just our own family….

7 03 2012
Nicole

Like you stated, what if I went to Congo and found out Kony was not starving and on his last legs, and was in fact at large in Uganda? Does what you’ve written pose anymore proof than the video?

7 03 2012
Nicole

Also, this was written in 2006..what is the updated info now?

7 03 2012
Anonymous

I have done absolutely no research on this topic but even if you do arrest this kony, doesn’t he just have a rank structure so that if he’s captured or is killed the next highest person in their system will take over and just the exactly the same thing as kony was doing or worse?

7 03 2012
Samim

You’re right, a rebel group such as the LRA built in the past 20 or more years will have a very well put structure. However what everyone is neglecting to identify is that Kony 2012 is a movement that shows the world, people will care about issues around the world if it’s addressed appropriately. For all of the individuals who are under the understanding that IC is only trying to make profit, so maybe they are. They have to make a living as well. No fundraising organization proivdes a 100% of their donations towards tw cause. THERE IS A COST to having international organizations like IC. Going back to the replacement of KONY, this is the way to stop them. If they witness what the world is going through to stop Kony it will stop the many many more Kony’s from coming forth and becoming an international warlord. Be it in Uganda, Sudan, and any othe part of Africa, or even the world. This is suppose to be a message to the rest of te world. I think the author mentions a few times that yes the situation in Uganda has improved, for all the individuals who say that the author neglects to say the LRA has moved to different regions, you are wrong. He includes that as well. Bottom line is that this video and campaign is to stop all of the Kony’s of the world including the one in power.

7 03 2012
Sarah-Joy

This is the exact reason that instead of supporting the Kony 2012 campaign I’ve been trying to promote Kira Farm Training Centre. It’s a agricultural farm in Uganda set up by a charity called Amigos to help the people help themselves. each year they take on 40 new students and teach them how to use what they have most of – land – in order to take care of themselves, their families and their communities. Not only this, but the methods they are taught are environmentally friendly and renewable. Students are encouraged and expected, upon graduating, to teach what they have learnt to others. It is a movement which helps the most needy Ugandans find their feet and look after themselves and others, so basically giving them independence. I went to visit Kira Farm two years ago to volunteer with the students and they really are doing a great job, and their expenditure is honest and fair as well. they only have one centre open at the moment in northern Uganda, but the hope is to raise enough money to help people across the country. It’s a small difference, but it IS a difference. If you want to help Uganda, this is how you do it.

Website: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amigos.org.uk%2Fkira-farm-training-centre-uganda.asp&h=dAQEiVJ1X

Youtube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ge2IyYC4T1s

7 03 2012
Gunthar M

I find it interesting to look at the type of comments made when this post was first published back in 2006, and compare them to the posts in 2009, 2010, 2011, and now that the Kony2012 film has gone viral.

What was more or less civil discourse regarding the issues has turned into LOTS of name calling (“twat”, “moron”, “idiot”).

The internet (and blogging/social sites, etc) is a most powerful force for change, but this one post on this one blog is a stark example of how we, as an internet culture, have devolved.

7 03 2012
Taylor Quinn

This blog post is in desperate need of UPDATING! Peace was not achieved, the UPDF did not “defeat” the LRA, they are still strongly operating in South Sudan, the CAR, and the Congo. This blog has NO RELEVANCE in 2012, I agree aid in its current model needs to be fixed, but in its present model organizations like Invisible Children are changing lives, both in North America and in central-east Africa. Invisible Children’s KONY 2012 video has 6 million views, 6 MILLION, in the past 36 hours! No one can argue that what they are doing is not changing the way people look at this conflict.

8 03 2012
Joan

Why does the author owe us an update from his original post in 2006, even though he has now apparently stopped blogging altogether (at least on this particular blog)? Everything he said was what he believed to be true at the time. If you want an update, YOU start your own blog.

7 03 2012
JStasiuk

Reblogged this on Silence As Sound and commented:
As part of transparency, here’s an article from 2006 outline the pitfalls of the #Kony2012 Campaign and the Invisible Children.

I too believe that there is a large possibility of #Kony2012 failing within 3 months as the attention span of the population wains. That being said, I’m still choosing to donate to their cause.

7 03 2012
7 03 2012
Preach the truth

why are you against a campaign that may bring benefit in some light.
What are the sources of your information?

7 03 2012
Mymmy

WHY: (SEE ABOVE ARTICLE)

SOURCES: ITS HIS FUCKING BLOG HES WRITING WHAT HE THINKS

7 03 2012
lynncaseyrn

Thank you for this enlightening article. I bought into the viral video immediately…then after reading your article, I blushed with embarssament about how easy it is manipulate my feelings and reactions on any subject I know nothing about with the right editing. This makes me just as easily manipulated as the KONY/LRA particpants! I guess knowing is half the battle. Thanks for opening my eyes!

7 03 2012
anonymous

You even said that the LRA is now reeking havoc in The Congo…last time I checked IC had an ENTIRE project on setting up radio signals to alert the people of the Congo on LRA movement. Joseph Kony may not be in his prime but he is still the motivation for this army that has moved on from Uganda…and IC has changed their focus from Uganda aswell.

7 03 2012
Invisible Children | jhr U of T Chapter

[...] check out this blog post on the topic – very interesting perspective. Click here to see full [...]

7 03 2012
ramin

Nice piece.

7 03 2012
Few things are what they seem. On the KONY 2012 / Invisible Children video. | The Bat Country Word

[...] more information was found here that tells us this problem is not quite the issue it once was. Uganda is no longer experiencing [...]

7 03 2012
Mark

I should have read this first before I went ahead and blindly bandwagoned on the whole “hay guise letz save teh world for no reason lololol”. Kudos.

7 03 2012
kermit

Organizations have to be methodical and relevant to their target audiences in order to generate any sort of attention. I agree that funds are being spent in misdirected or questionable ways, but the unfortunate truth is that those are the avenues most pursued by the media and the general population of 2012 (the apparent culminating year of IC’s efforts). If cheap, flashy t-shirts, smartly-edited viral videos, and catchy music are the ways in which an organization is going to gather attention and momentum, so be it. Perhaps other groups should take note. Those “questionable” mediums led me here… Is IC the most honourable pocket in which to be placing your donations? Perhaps not. But how many ads, billboards, commercials and posters of bloated bellies and fly-swarmed eyes have you seen on the bus or subway, whose messages and fine print you’ve shrugged off just the same? Over-exposure – and inevitably, desensitization- is a self-deprecating stance. Let awareness elevate the issues facing Uganda (and all afflicted countries and territories), to table-height, so that we might delve into the core of these problems in the best way possible. If IC is the most viable vehicle we have to get the conversation going, then I am glad for it.

7 03 2012
7 03 2012
Alanna Frank (@AlannaGabriella)

I will say I think it’s kinda amusing that after whoever wrote this article another couple massacres occurred in Uganda because of the LRA. I understand peace talks were underway back then but Joseph Kony has backed out of ALL of them. He HAS to be stopped, and if people like you who are skeptical won’t help. I’ll make it my duty to do so.

7 03 2012
Mymmy

Good. Cause it was either you or him who has to save the world. Thanks for stepping up to bat.

9 03 2012
Peter Parker

Reading all of your comments are very entertaining.. You are one amusing character

7 03 2012
Katie

For everyone writing negative things about IC I am sure you have not been abducted, been made to mutilate people made to kill your parents or used as a sex slave. How would you like for people to not attempt to help or rescue you? Imagine you lived in Africa and your child was one of the IC… would you be like oh god stop this charity… I have researched them and they are rubbish. What would you do, sort it out yourself. It shows people are pulling together and showing support but I would like to see the other side of the coin of what you would say if nobody showed any interest in helping however they can. How cold of you all to state that the charity doesn’t know what they are doing, I’m sure they are helping more than you all are doing sat there looking for glitches in their support plan.

9 03 2012
BR

Katie, the problem is that “the help” you think IC is delivering is really just a self-fulfilling marketing and publicity machine that is only helping a handful of people, and most of them are Americans!

It is okay to think critically and to grow beyond what you know now. It must feel good to think you’re solving a world problem, so you probably don’t want to listen to anyone who says wait, you’re not! Use your passion to educate yourself. There’s a lot of information on #Kony2012 out there, beyond the hype, take a look at it and they you’ll see how people can state “they don’t know what they’re doing.”

7 03 2012
Allan J

Maybe, some of you should go out there and do something for Uganda rather than dissing about IC here.

As long as they get 30% (so the unverified facts in the post say) to the people, they’re still doing better than you.

Jason Russell has made his compensation public: 89000 USD. For the work he does, very reasonable.

There are other charities run where its founders have 10 times this amount as compensation.

If you don’t wanna donate money, create your own creatives and print your own tshirts and posters. So there’s no question of IC using money for their own good then.

7 03 2012
Mary

Better to know what is/did happen than not know at all.
There’s truth and fiction in everyone’s story, yours, theirs, whomevers.
If the purpose is to educate without questioning then perhaps no one should ever watch a documentary again. I believe the purpose is to bring awareness which has been done.
I watched their point of view, I read your point of view, now it’s up to me to learn more and form my best educated opinion.

7 03 2012
Larocque

On the subject of IC’s t-shirts and how terrible it is that they sell them, I would like to make a short statement. I am a semi-supporter of IC, and have been for several years [semi due to the fact that I agree that some of their programs are terrible for community development, as addressed in this article - but not all].
I personally own a t-shirt that says something along the lines of “90% of the LRA are abducted children”. I did not buy this t-shirt because I wanted all 10$ to go to Uganda, in fact I bought it assuming it didn’t… the same can be said for any of my clothing. And I have to ask you – each time you buy a piece of clothing from ANY organization, do you honestly believe it is helping someone… and never hurting? How is it any different from buying clothing from IC?
I bought the t-shirt to raise awareness. Every single time I wear it, I am asked at least once that day; “What is the LRA?”. It is my pleasure to educate these individuals in the history of the 20+ year conflict – starting at the Holy Spirit Movement, moving to Guy Joseph Kony (and his fellow leaders; Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo, Raska Lukwiya, and Dominic Ongwen) and ending where it is today.
My point is, I didn’t buy the t-shirt because it made me feel good, warm and fuzzies. I bought it for the simple purpose of raising awareness. There are few other organizations that create clothing that addresses the issue in such a direct manner – and for that, I chose IC.

7 03 2012
Ian Heystee

Maybe you should come up with a slick video to get your message out, it definitely worked for IC and according to you, they’re not even doing much good.

7 03 2012
Ana

While I agree that many people choose to give blindly to charities, but the fact that you are discouraging people to participate and to give is what bothers me most. True, peace is being regained in Uganda. Kony is nowhere near as active as he once was, but how many of you knew his name until the recent spread over the media? Regardless of the current situation in Uganda, for the first time a new generation is gaining an understanding of a dire situation and taking a stand against it.

Although the situation is better than it was back when the LRA was formed, the fact of the matter is that this man, Joseph Kony, was who stared it all. Under his leadership, many families have been broken. The violence doesn’t end when things start to ‘calm down’.

All I’m saying is, while I appreciate you bringing up the problem of blind donations, I cannot condone your discouraging people from educating themselves and helping educate others in the process. The world cannot be fixed in one movement, but it is this movement among many that will bring us closer.

7 03 2012
Martin

Brainwashed morons. Buy a t shirt, and help support the Re colonization of Africa. That’s what institutes like Africom are for. Is there something wrong with you people? Are you all so easily led by slick marketing and quick editing?
Fools.

7 03 2012
Ian Heystee

How does insulting people benefit any of us Martin. try again please.

7 03 2012
Charlotte

you said: “For about the last year, since before IC hit the scene, Kony and his troops have been pushed into Congo, into the Garamba National Forest there. He’s sick, starving, and on his last legs”.

did we not think the same about bin laden? he is just hidden…. he is not gone. if i had seen my family killed like many of these children have i wouldnt ever stop searching for kony. fair enough there are other problems but like the film says once he is out of the picture other problems can be dealt with…. i just found reading the first part of this insensitive…. we shouldnt let him get away with what he has done and what he will CONTINUE to do. amazing people have invested years and years of hard work to bring justice.

7 03 2012
Casey

Another big concern: These children will return home, possibly with no supports. Families might have moved. What if they need counseling or other social support? What if someone else replaces Kony? These are things that are not being talked about. And while you can toss money at something, if it’s not being used correctly, if a group of people cannot learn to help themselves and build up their own recourses in the process of receiving aid, then how does that help them? It’s a confusing topic that I won’t pretend to know about. I am a white, middle class college student with no familiarity with the local support systems and governments in the area. But I think these issues are something serious to consider.

7 03 2012
20yr/olst

One of the IC’s programs is counseling for children who were freed after being abducted by Kony

7 03 2012
Casey

But who finds and organizes those programs? Self healing is a huge part of what is being done for women who were raped in the Congo area. Education, programing training, and allowing the women themselves to take action. I really hope these efforts are being funded and promoted by local orgs and governments, because that’s a great first step to developing independent resources that won’t go away when the trend dies.

7 03 2012
SammieD

It is about stopping a man. He should pay for what he has done, not to mention what he is STILL doing. To narrow this issue down to money and ignorance is in itself ignorant. The man WILL be stopped with or without YOUR help. The sad part is that you believe people who stand behind this cause are without education. This article assumes to much and delivers too little.

9 03 2012
BR

Funny thing though, SammieD, everyone who learns the whole story about the LRA and Uganda and Invisible Children’s bias changes their views drastically. I’m sorry to let you know that you’re not helping anyone but Invisible Children by defending them and spreading their videos. You’re being used and don’t know it.

7 03 2012
Linglong

I’m glad I read this as the recent popularity of the Kony2012 has practically exploded on social networking sites. Though I do agree on many points you addressed (ex decreasing dependency on foreign aid, current situations are better than perceived) however I disagree with your statements regarding the purpose of Kony2012. The website clearly states they want the arrest of Kony, stemmed from the problems they witnessed in Uganda. Kony’s arrest will serve as a precendant for hummitary standards and will be the first time western youth has had success vocalizing an issue.

8 03 2012
Joan

The author was talking about the purpose of the 2006 campaign, not the purpose of Kony2012.

7 03 2012
Liz

I can see what you are saying but the video clearly points out that Kony has moved from Uganda into other countries. His promise he made to Jacob, the young Ugandan man, was not to stop Kony in Uganda – it was to stop him wherever he may be, and to show him he cannot hide. And as has already been mentioned in the video, the peace talks are used by rebel groups such as the LRA as a ‘quiet’ period to build up their strength again. The movement is not saying that it attempts to solve the problems of Uganda full stop – it does not attempt to solve the problems of famine, disease or government corruption. It attempts to stop one man from continuing these horrific practices against children regardless of which country he is in by telling the West that they need to look for him beyond Uganda and not stop until he is found. I do sympathise with what you are saying but it needs to be made clear that the movement doesn’t attempt to solve any of the problems you describe and is in fact pretty clear about what it’s aims are.

7 03 2012
Dawn Durden

When I saw this, I felt guilty for being free, being white, being relatively healthy, being safe. I didn’t even consider how old the video/information was. What an idiot I am. The guilt made me jump to conclusions when I normally investigate such things. I will say I love the idea of a global community helping communities in peril.

7 03 2012
kermit

This article, like many of the blog posts, etc. I’ve read today, are faster to call IC’s recent explosion, ignorant “slactivism” than an educational opportunity. You don’t have to throw dollars at the cause, but at least inform yourself! I think people should approach this media explosion strategically: if it isn’t IC’s doctrines that turn your crank, take a look at other groups and organizations that may better appeal to your ideals of ‘aid’.

7 03 2012
wolf

This isn’t about UGANDA. this is about KONY. and making him famous enough for him not to hide. whether this organization does everything perfectly is not the point, no charity does. this is about taking one issue and bringing it the worlds attention and stopping ONE person. if this works in the new age of information, then imagine what we can do.

7 03 2012
shakkka

The Facebook hype is so misguided – a lot of kids who think they’re doing the right thing by putting posters up across UK cities, and making a video viral on the internet. What’s sadder is the fact that the case in Uganda is by no means an isolated one, and that facts like this are replicated across the world. Corruption (governmental and NGO), inefficiency and aid dependency are more rife and destructive than the social networkers realise. It’s good to wake up from apathy, but engaging in clicktivism when you’re half asleep isn’t good either.

7 03 2012
Melissa Scrap

Kony and these problems in Uganda have been around for a very long time. There’s a ton of information available so PLEASE get all the facts….The movie was a great way to spread awareness but……well, you can do the research and decide for yourself…..

7 03 2012
Who is Kony? « Aim High, There Is Plenty Of Room

[...] The visible problem with invisible children (ilto.wordpress.com) [...]

7 03 2012
Julia

Foreign aid is a problem, but what you fail to address is the fact that IC is insisting that KONY be stopped because he is a criminal. That is what their campaign of “KONY 2012″ is all about. It’s purpose is to get Kony’s name famous, so all can be educated on him and help stop him. It is not just about what is going on in Uganda. Uganda is where the founders found out about Kony and were inspired to stop something. The creator of the “MTV like video” states countless times that its about the fact that helpless children get snatched out from their beds and are forced to shot people and mutilate people. Their fight is against Kony himself, not Uganda. Yeah, Uganda may be safe from the LRA, but the group and Kony are still out there and at any time can move onto a new country and torture those children. He should be captured and punished for his actions and crimes, and that is what the entire KONY 2012 movement is about. It is about spreading awareness of his actions and getting people to stand up and say its wrong. If more people stand up, the government wont take away the military advisers that are trying to help the Uganda army capture Kony. That is the mission: CAPTURE KONY. Yes, the donations made to IC are to help Uganda apparently, and yes that needs to be addressed in a different manor. But again, we are not talking about Ugandan aid via IC, we are talking about a national movement to capture the number one criminal on the international criminal list. That’s the cause, that’s the MAIN issue being addressed. That is not wrong

7 03 2012
Tina Liu

good article :) I am actually a full supporter of weaning off foreign aid in Africa as I have heard Africans say themselves that this needs to be the way of the future. it does fuel corruption and creates an accountability gap between African citizens and their politicians. however, I don’t think the point of KONY 2012 (not commenting on Invisible Children as a whole) is to throw a bunch of money at the problem (although I think it is right to set up schools). the point is the capture Kony by publicizing what he did, much like how we demanded Osama bin Ladin to pay for his war crimes against the U.S. I think that is the right thing to do. Invisible Children is, like any non-profit that wants to stay alive, promoting its own organization and monthly donations, but the emphasis of THIS campaign is awareness and not giving Africa more dependency aid.

once again, can’t generalize this to all organizations for Africa everywhere or for Invisible Children as a whole, but I can say that I fully endorse KONY 2012.

7 03 2012
Puffray

I completely agree with you Uganda is no longer experiencing violence from the LRA. and this video “Invincible Children” is far to late . I only wish to correct you that UPDF is still having bases in South Sudan and Congo to prevent Kony re-attaching.

7 03 2012
KONY 2012 – Is it all it’s cracked up to be? | | Soton Tab

[...] made etc. etc.), but there’s already a lot of material on that already circulating out there, I recommend you check it out; just think before you donate. Instead, I’ll move onto what [...]

7 03 2012
laura mckenna

Whoever doesn’t think their is multiple problems in Uganda is very nieve. Invisible Children and other groups are not disclaiming any of your arguments, They are focusing at the moment on catching a mass murderer, He deserves to be caught and punished like all the children’s lives he took and families he destroyed. Makes me god damn sick that you are saying they are in a peace treaty? So everything he has done is okay all of a sudden? I beg to differ.

7 03 2012
Sarah

I think my only problem with this is that the organization Invisible Children clearly stated that the problem isn’t within Uganda.. it is with this one man, Joseph Kony. He is a terrible person, who should be stopped. That is the bottom line, there are no ‘yeah, but..’ or ‘what about…’ statements needed. He is a disgusting person, and while there are many of his kind out there – if we can stop the one at the top of the list, then the others are also vulnerable.

7 03 2012
Marissa

Okay, so at the top of your blog it says you’re a fan opinions. Here’s mine. I don’t know a lot about Uganda. However, since learning about, researching, and now writing a paper on the conflict in Rwanda, the deep-seated issues in Africa have taken a hold of my heart. I want nothing more than to try and find an optimal solution to solve these issues, but of course that is almost impossible. You criticize Western kids who want to make a difference. I don’t think that is fair. For each organization that exists to help solve some human ill, there exists a movement to explain why they are wrong. People just want to help, and they are going to go with someone who presents them with a solution.
Now, I should probably say I completely agree with your premise that sending aid to Africa, or anywhere, is not a solution; it is a Band-Aid. While we don’t need a Band-Aid, fixing the real issues requires a complete change to the dynamics of our entire world. If you can suggest how we might do that, please tell us. But, please, don’t put down people whose only goal is to make some small difference. Give them another option. Personally, I have chosen not to financially support this cause, but I will share the story and the video with anyone who will listen. I honestly believe that people are ignorant to the issues going on around the world, and I believe education is key. I believe that the suggestions by IC to contact Members of Parliament and the Prime Minister is wonderful. It gets people involved in the political process, and if there is enough people doing it, politicians will listen. They know that without the support of their constituents, they are powerless.
On another note, in the video it shows IC members pressuring, meeting with, and calling policy leaders in the US, which resulted in President Obama sending 100 American soldiers to Uganda to help them improve their efforts. Was this not part of the reason that Kony fled? Honestly, I am asking you, since I have already admitted I don’t know a lot about the situation.
Now, for my last point. For me, it makes no difference whether or not the current state of Uganda is peaceful. Of course, I wholeheartedly hope it is, but this effort by the IC does not depend on the existence of war. These individuals just want to see Joseph Kony brought to justice. This is why I support the cause. He deserves to be tried for the injustices he has committed in order to bring some closure to the issue and give some peace of mind to the people in Uganda. I know that no one will probably ever read this comment in its entirety, but I felt the need to share an opinion that lies somewhere in the middle ground.

8 03 2012
Peter Parker

Thank God for people like you

7 03 2012
Ericka Galvan Jones

Instead of worrying about trying to fix other countries problems I think the American people should worry about their own countries problems, before we try to fix and help others we should start here, with this corrupted government .

7 03 2012
Social Media and Kony | World News With Will

[...] vetted. Though one sometimes has to question things written on the internet, there are many blogs out there, claiming that this a fraud. Even now, a legitimate newspaper, is finally writing about [...]

8 03 2012
Fred Fighter

I haven’t seen ANY evidence that this is a fraud.

Invisible Children has a Charity Navigator rating of 3 out of a possible 4.

http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12429

And they rate a ‘4’ for financials, meaning then spend most of their money for their incorporated purpose, which is to publicize the atrocities.

While the LRA has left Uganda, they are still active in three other countries and have made at least 20 attacks in the Republic of the Congo this year.

http://www.unhcr.org/4f55f6079.html

FF

7 03 2012
phuknonimoos

this article was written back in 2006. Who knows-the author may have watched a different video then. Why the F do YOU or ANYONE care so much if someone wants to throw thousands and dollars for something they BELIEVE is a cause even if assuming they have or have not been well informed and educated about the matter? LET THEM.
Point your negativity somewhere else. If you simply do not want to be involved in the movement because it seems pretty shady to you, then don’t and leave it at that.
On the other hand, if you’d like to spread the word and help share some bits of knowledge about the subject then do so, and if you go as far as to donating your $$$ then holy shmitzels go for it. dafuq what every one else say. Its YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY. YOU do what you want with it.
Someone other than yourself sitting here like I am right now retaliating to this isn’t going to make the world a finger-snap-poof “hey suddenly we have a better place to live in! hoorah!!” (insert other satire play of words here)
The fact of the matter is, THERE IS A MOVEMENT—that is only growing by the number as i “waste-less-ly” leave this response to your blog.
I’m glad that the conflicts/problems/issues are being shed to light. I’m glad that it has brought some form of knowledge or information to those who at one point were clueless to it.
Everyone else can fap off.

7 03 2012
Jesus

i think i love you! :)

7 03 2012
Follow-up on KONY 2012 « Left of Centre

[...] today I posted a comment on a blog that was written in 2006 to discuss the issues with the Kony 2010 movement. I agree that it is not [...]

7 03 2012
Puffray

its absurd you base your judgement on one journalists opinion about Uganda ,Its true uganda is no longer affected by LRA and there may be traces of corruption just like anywhere in the world but your wrong 50 % the country`s budget is not supported by foreign aid , You need to appreciate Uganda`s economic growth from 1986 having suffered a dreadful past since independence. For those concerned about world issues , they know why Africa still needs this aid. But still we should endorse Kony 2012 ,mainly because the victims of his atrocities need Justice.

7 03 2012
sue

Interesting comment, twisted logic. I agree that some aid that we & others have handed out has been less than helpful. But suggesting an end to aid in an area with such huge needs also seems unhelpful, criminally so. The”logic” of ending debt relief as a solution of any thing escapes me. Finally, the idea of letting a war criminal of the vilest sort off the hook is simply wrong.

7 03 2012
Jessica

I find it slightly funny that people on here who do not believe in the Kony 2012 Campaign are actually helping it. Even if you are discussing why it is bad, you are still raising awareness in one way or another – still getting his name out there. So pat yourself on the back for ‘choosing not to promote the IC campaign’.

That aside, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Us talking down to people who are simply expressing their own personal beliefs is hypocritical. You fight for your right to express your views – so don’t bash and put others down for expressing theirs…whether you agree or not. As Voltaire (I believe) said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.

Now for my opinion. [on the situation - not bashing this authors blog - and taking into account this was written in 2006]

Certain forms of Foreign Aid in the long run can do more harm than good. Think of it this way: The Western World sends clothes over to impoverished countries. These clothes are either handed out free or possibly sold for dirt cheap. When someone in this impoverished village is in need of an article of clothing, where are they going to get it? The free/dirt cheap ones we ship over, or from the ‘seamstress’ of the village who cannot afford to sell their handmade garments for cheaper. Another example, white meat is the favored meat in North America. Did you know that many companies freeze dark meet and send it to impoverished countries and sell it for dirt cheap. Same situation – the locals will buy the cheaper frozen meat, rather than the fresh chicken from the chicken farmer. Now the chicken farmer and the seamstress aren’t making as much money, and they will have to buy the cheaper products that we sent over. We put their economy into a downward spiral…causing them to be even more dependent on us.

Other aid efforts, such as the International Monetary Fund do sort of the same thing. But flooding their governments with money (from loans), but put policies and sanctions on the countries to not spend it on public services (health and education), and to privatize companies and export their goods. In my view all as a way to take advantage of them for Western Capitalism. [But thats a whole other issue].

In terms of Kony, not only does he need to pay for the crimes he has committed, but he also acts as a symbol of many of the other rebel leaders and rebel armies that exist today. Awareness about this issues is crucial. Take a look back in history to events such as the Rwandan Genocide. The world turned a blind eye to horrific events that went on. Once people like L. Gen Romeo Dallaire spoke out [through his novel 'Shake Hands with the Devil'] people were shocked at what had went on without their knowledge. In an era where we are consistently bombarded with media – why not use this media to draw attention to an important issue. Or would you rather go back, pretend like this didn’t happen, and read an article about how Snooki is pregnant?

And issue is being brought to our attention. And we have the power to do something about it. Or we can let innocent people die. It might be happening on the other side of the world – but in today’s age, the world is a lot smaller than it once was. And even if it is happening somewhere we have never been or to people we don’t personally know, it is still happening in OUR WORLD.

I know above I disagreed with some Foreign Aid. However aiding a country (or many countries) by capturing someone who has terrorized them for years, murder their people, raped their women, and shoved guns into their children’s hands…is not a foreign aid that will harm their economies, and stop tier economies from growing, or stop them from a journey to self-reliance. No. It is aid to offer them life. A life free of that fear. And yes, there are many other problems that need to be resolved…but going to the reference in the article, if you went to New York to the 9/11 site and saw “that there was none of this, but a whole host of other problems?” Would that cause you to no longer care about National Security and Terrorism? I sure hope not. So why say that the LRA is no longer a threat to Ugandans? The LRA is still a threat to other civilians in other countries. And other rebel groups are a threat in many other countries.

Sorry for the long post. Thank-you to those who educated themselves about the issue, and posted constructive comments (on either side of the argument).

And, before I go…just want to put one thing to rest. I reviewed IC financial statements. And this just goes to show, that even when someone seems like they have educated themselves is posting to you, to not take anything at face value. No where in those financial statements is there a ‘Wages Expense’ or ‘Salaries Expense’ or ‘Wages Payable’ or ‘Salaries Payable’ account. So do not believe the posts about them paying their workers all this money. Also, one post wrote that they only spend 32% of what the make on Direct Services. They do not explain what that means to you as a reader. First of all that was 32% in one year (not over the lifetime of the organization). The organization cannot give 100% of what you donate to a direct service – this should be obvious. They need $ for expenses such as rent of buildings, equipment, $ for travel, insurance on those who travel, campaign $ (which is necessary for any charity), etc. Also, as explained in ‘The Notes to the Financial Statements’ there was a huge influx of donations in the final year the audit covered. This money (with others) is sitting in the ‘Cash Account’ of their assets. Just because they haven’t spent it yet, doesn’t mean they aren’t going to. They need to save money for programs, and wait until a program is developed an ready to be started/completed before the majority of the money is withdrawn for the service. So, again please not only do research – but take time to actually understand what you are reading before you try to use it in your argument.

Again, sorry for the long post.

7 03 2012
anon

You clearly don’t know anything about financial reporting. Just because the words “wages” or “salaries” aren’t there, doesn’t mean they don’t exist in some other fashion. I highly doubt the entire organization is made up of volunteers.

7 03 2012
Jessica

I’m not claiming that they are all volunteers. I’m saying that it’s not in those financial statements, and therefore one cannot argue how much the spend on salaries and wages…its a null in void argument.

8 03 2012
Fred Fighter

IC addresses some of those criticisms here:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/www.invisiblechildren.com/critiques.html

Their Charity Navigator Rating is here:

http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12429

FF

7 03 2012
GodLovesYou

You all are just being brained washed this is all part of the ILLUMINATI research it your self educate yourselves on that.

7 03 2012
CCIII – The Invisible Children Crusade « thebaroquelover

[...] A friend of mine, however, provided me with a link to a blog post which suggests that what the Invisible Children are doing is a bit of a scam, that the ideals they espouse are a break from the realities gripping central Africa. That article has given me a fresh new perspective on how such causes, however genuine in their purpose, can be greatly misguided. This can be found HERE. [...]

7 03 2012
Colleen

Funny I don’t recall offering help to your fellow man to ever be a negative thing. What one will choose to do with that help is out of your control. What invisible children has done is to create and inspire people to educate themselves. This is more of a solution then I see being proposed here. When did we become so scared of kindness. doing something is far better then doing nothing and taking about it

7 03 2012
Jennifer

So, essentially you are saying “not my problem” and we should let an internationally wanted war criminal go free? Do you have any idea how many genocide and crimes against humanity occur every single day in this world? Get off of your comfy couch and open your eyes. Helping another human being is NEVER wrong. EVER. This video and this organization help people translate feelings of helplessness into feelings of empowerment that they can make a difference. It makes a new generation take action and not sit idly by while such atrocities occur. If we let him go, then we send a clear message to others that we will passively sit by while innocent people are slaughtered and simply shake our heads and say “that’s too bad for those poor Africans” while we climb into our beds safely every night, never fearing that we will be raped, mutilated, kidnapped or murdered while we sleep. We are one in humanity. We have information and we know what is happening in Uganda, Sudan, and Democratic Republic of Congo. We have a responsibility. As human beings, and if you call yourself a Christian, you are responsible for your brothers and sisters. Period. Yours is the attitude that allowed the Holocaust to claim the lives of nearly 11 million people. Shame on you.

7 03 2012
marshallheppner

I laugh at how many people are upset, do to over-thinking, cynicism and wanting to go against the grain towards something that has struck a cord in so many hearts. The Kony 2012 video/movement is an awareness video and a call to action and justice. Let it be that. Part of me wants to smack you in the head. The other part wants to hug you and ask “who hurt you?”….

7 03 2012
Ivan

Yes, because when the whole world wakes up and decides to flog a dead horse, that’s a good thing. And when someone goes, ‘guys, that horse is dead, there’s no point in flogging it’, that person is obviously just going against the grain and over-thinking things.

‘No really, there are plenty of live horses that need flogging.’

8 03 2012
Fred Fighter

Joseph Kony is not dead. The LRA is active in three countries and has made at least 20 attacks in the Republic of the Congo this year.
Three of the five indicted LRA leaders remain alive and at large.

http://www.unhcr.org/4f55f6079.html

Since 2009 they have murdered more than a thousand civilians and abducted more than 2200 others.

http://www.lracrisistracker.com/

FF

7 03 2012
Gabby

It seems to me that the purpose of ‘international justice’ is to bring an international criminal to justice. The IC’s sole purpose is to have Kony incarcerated for his crimes against humanity. It seems irrelevant to suggest that since Kony is “not as strong”, the issue of bringing a criminal to justice is null and void. The IC is not raising money to address ALL of Africa’s problems. Other social issues, must be addressed through separate campaigns.

I’ll use an outlandish example of what you’re suggesting:
A mass murderer commits atrocious crimes in some state. Awareness is raised. People stop dying because the mass murderer is no longer as uncompromising, and he’s in peace talks with the police. Instead of concerning ourselves about the mass murderer, you think we should turn our attention to the general problems that plague the state.
Umm….no.
The POINT is to catch Kony. That’s why the IC was set up in the first place.

It’s like telling the March of Dimes to quit and join the Red Cross instead, because the Red Cross is addressing more relevant and serious issues on a greater scale.

7 03 2012
Ivan

The only reason that catching Kony would be a priority is if he was actually doing damage. We expend resources on the things that are causing real problems, not so that dead people and their relatives can experience some primitive level of justice. Why do you think it takes so long to prosecute for war crimes once the WAR IS OVER.

There are problems in Uganda that are taking lives and ruining them. These problems can be addressed and thought about, but instead people are interested in lynching someone who isn’t even a threat anymore. If this is representative of the sophistication of the global communaty, I think it has a long way to go.

8 03 2012
Gabby

You misunderstand. The IC was set up solely for the purposes of bringing attention to Kony’s crimes.
Other problems faced by Uganda have to addressed by OTHER organizations. Not the IC.
I don’t understand why people keep criticizing IC for doing what they explicity set out to do.
And yes, justice for war crimes – for any crime – are important. Do you suggest we do away with the entire justice system? After all that’s why it exists. To prosecute criminals, regardless of whether or not they’re dangerous anymore.

7 03 2012
Michele

My understanding about the latest campaign is that it isn’t about Uganda. That is where it started, but kony has moved on. It’s about capturing kony.

7 03 2012
Yamileth (@sweetseattlite)

oh my this post is from 2006! I am thankful for your information people still definitely need to see both sides of the argument

7 03 2012
Amy

After reading this I still feel the same. To me, its not about giving aid, its about arresting a man who has done many evil things for power. Ok Kony 2012 may not be pleasing everyone but i don’t see anyone else trying to do what their doing. and that is simply making awareness of what has/is going on in Uganda. I bought a Kony 2012 bracelet today, and i plan to wear it and tell everyone I know about it. Someone may say that Iv’e wasted my money, but even if there is a SLIGHTEST chance that my money will help then thats money well spent to me

7 03 2012
Kealan

Buying one myself. He still needs to brought to justice, even if he’s sick and starving.

7 03 2012
La Flama Blanca

Everyone who thinks Kony is still a problem should read this and let the whole subject die already…Im tired of hearing about it

8 03 2012
Fred Fighter

Kony and the LRA are killing and abducting in the Republic of the Congo now.

http://www.lracrisistracker.com/

http://www.unhcr.org/4f55f6079.html

FF

7 03 2012
Kealan

OK, I see the whole point that has been made about IC being to late for Uganda, but im pretty sure that its about bringing Kony to justice for his war crimes. The LRA might have left Uganda, which only means these crims are being committed in other countries. I thought that message was pretty clear. And it’s still a good enough cause for everyone to be united over something for a change

7 03 2012
…and then there’s the flip side « Might Be Of Interest

[...] Educated Field Negro and i’m a fan of postcards EmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. « Previous [...]

7 03 2012
anj

never mind the campaign or who its aimed at capturing,or even wether it will or wont fix the problems it is targeted at fixing,for the 1st time i can remember if this goes as big as is hoped, the minority are becoming the majority and dictating to the dictators what kind of world we want ourselves and our children to live in.even if the original purpose and goal of this particular awareness campaign fails how can this movement be a bad thing?it may not be perfect and without its flaws but its a massive starting step in the right direction,how its aimed can be adjusted in future but just the fact people are coming together to make change for the better instead of been that person who wants to help,doesn’t know how to help,thinks there actions shall go unnoticed anyway so does nothing is a step towards a greater goal,hopefully this will be the first movement of many and will continue to gain strength and awareness to the point people cant ignore the problems and injustice that we the people stand up to, even if they would like to..just for people to learn there voice can be herd would prompt more action from the people in the future if results can be achieved instead of letting things pass us by all the while assuming where too inferior to do as much as we would like to…lets just prove we have a voice and make people in power take notice and action of our opinions,we can work the rest out afterwards..it doesn’t have to stop at just this one issue

7 03 2012
Anonymous

For those who are against this: If you were in this situation or possibly worse, would you want help especially if the only successful resource was from another country? Most likely. Even though this news may be slightly old, its another issue that has been added to the list of world problems. Are you able to say how many there are? No, because there are more than we know. There is evidence that Kony is still continuing. We are all living on planet earth and coming together is the least we could possibly do. To the author: any difference will accomplish something, even if it is small. So please take a moment to realize the world does not revolve around just the United States of America but every country matters just as equally, especially under crucial conditions. Don’t be so ignorant.

7 03 2012
amelia

I haven’t read all the comments, so i am not aware what everybody is talking about, plus im not particularly educated in the area of aid in Africa, therefore i will not comment on that. However, as i am an Invisible Children supporter, I would like to point out:
Invisible Children may be late and whatever you say, BUT watching the movie has opened up many people eyes to what is happening in places like Uganda, these conflicts have not stopped. Im sure there are plenty of groups like this all over the world, infamous or not. But now we know that behind all this media crap, behind all the gossip about celebrities becoming pregnant (and they call that news) there is actual news, actual occurences we should be alerted about but we are blind to those occurences.
Plus, i know a lot of people that are inspired by this 30 minute long video. It is very upflifting to see, what 1? 2? 3? people beginning such a commotion, even if it is at the wrong time.

7 03 2012
Beatrice Meleady

I agree completely with what you have written and I am glad this article is here to further educate those looking into the whole situation. Unfortunately many are still listing the KONY 2012 video as their only source of information about this issue and I’m trying to get them to read this, and just to read further in on this in general, before creating such a strong idea about Uganda today.

7 03 2012
heyitscameron

Reblogged this on heyitscameron's Blog.

7 03 2012
Bret M. Ellis

I find it interesting that so many of you have been so quick to judge the situation… most of you from the comfort of your living rooms at your laptops. I include myself in this of course… but it’s kind of ironic. If you pull your head out of the sand, drop your biases and bad attitudes and take a real look at the organization, you will notice one major thing. They’re doing a hell of a lot more than YOU. Sitting around blogging and ranting, complaining and poking at them makes you feel educated and important or what? Is that what it is? The reality is that they donate just over a third of their funds (36%) because they aren’t into charity! You morons! More than once, the same one of you who accused them of giving hand-outs and being a charity donor, complained about how they only give a third of what they make directly. Ummmm…. yah.

May I suggest, (as someone who has worked closely with the organization and given hundreds of dollars to the Legacy Scholarship Fund because I believe in a lot of what they do), that there is a reason for this… a reason 74% of their annual earnings are directly elsewhere. It’s called legislature. They have completely changed the legislature in Uganda. It is now possible to prosecute in Uganda because of the relationships that IC has established through the raising of awareness (where most of their money goes). They have directly been responsible for the sending of hundreds of lawyers and judges from the U.S. who are training locals how to operate the judicial system. They are seeing children, who have been rotting in prisons there for crimes they were merely accused of with no proof (HUGE problem in Uganda), go free! The main mission of IC is too raise awareness, activate plans that enable and empower the Ugandans to change things and use the resources of WA D.C. and the U.S. people to rebuild the situation BY TRAINING THE LOCALS and FUNDING LOCAL PROJECTS. NOT BY CHARITY HANDOUTS. Do your research people. And don’t be so quick to judge good people who are at least doing something! Get out of your chair and do something, then maybe you can say something. I only feel I have the right to even say this because I’m writing you from Masaya, Nicaragua on the only computer in the village, bought with funds raised by the locals, but with fundraising methods taught by “white people” or “outsiders”.

Take a closer look at the problem… is it giving and charitable behavior that is really the problem, or is it laziness and selfish behavior leading to giving away money instead of taking the time to teach and equip? It’s all about giving yourself away. “Nobody needs your money half as much as they need your time. Nobody needs your time half as much as they need Jesus.”

7 03 2012
OneVoice

I completely respect the opinion of others. With that being said, it saddens me that there is so much hate being spread around in here. Dishearted that so many people can put down a group that is just trying to do good in the world, regardless of where in the world or the current status of the country being helped. Money, that’s what I see being a top concern here. The point of the group seems to me is raising awareness, those of you more concerned how the money is spent are not realizing that everyone is entitled to giving what they want to a cause they want to help.
There is far too much greed and this world is going downhill fast. The fact that we all can unite for something just empowers us and gives us hope to see a better world in the future. To the people going over and helping, I definitely respect you all. To the people who have never seen a country like Uganda up close in person, I hope you have a moment in your life where you struggle, to feel what its like to suffer so you can understand.

I have a one year old, who is my life. I am terrified of the world being a horrible place for him. If you have a child you understand. I like to support any cause and we volunteer regularly because I want him to understand that its good to help people. Humanity. Not greed and doubt and hate.
Go ahead and respond with hateful remarks. Just remember we are entitled to our own opinion.

7 03 2012
Public Campaigning – Things You Should Pay Attention to on the Internet « KateNap

[...] analyses here and here. It is just as important to read these and get the whole story because the video will tap [...]

7 03 2012
nataya crawford

I’m thinking that capturing Kony so that he can face the consequences of his actions is a very good start to reaching a solution. I applaud IC for their efforts. They never mentioned helping in any other way besides capturing a criminal. I think that is a decent start and a very good goal.

7 03 2012
Change This

Shit. They’re just trying to get awareness out… Their target audiences are younger people, college students and recent graduates. These people are adventurous, ready to get behind causes and can easily influence celebrity outreach as well. Do you understand how many people would still be blind to Kony if the IC didn’t exist- think about it. Don’t like the IC? Don’t donate. But we don’t have to sit here and slam an org that was able to cause such a big reaction (for or against IC, again) Why is it SO easy to hate and be skeptical in today’s world. NOTHING can go without being criticized I swear, Americans and cowering internet bullies never stop being so harsh to the ideas of anyone more popular than they are

7 03 2012
Viewing Kony 2012 critically | UWI CLUBS -student groups at uwi

[...] insane conspiracies behind non-profit groups Am I the only one suspicious about Invisible Children The Visible problem with Invisible Children Army in kony hunt accused of rape Obama takes on the Lords Resistance Army Uganda enlists former [...]

7 03 2012
steve

tbe goal is to catch kony were ever he still us nitctve past presNt or future problem we are aware hes not in uganda he is a mzn who needs to be stoped

7 03 2012
7 03 2012
KONY2012: A Case of Slacktivism, Group-think, and Poor Judgement – Clear, Concise, Collegiate Opinions

[...] largely in 2003. Since then, a lot has a changed. Kony has been forced to retreat. Here’s a quote from a local reporter in 2006: Uganda is no longer experiencing violence from the LRA. Yes, I said it. It’s an uncomfortable [...]

7 03 2012
Stop kony 2012 - Page 2

[...] know when it is an issue being raised by the people it is being raised by. Interesting read guys: http://ilto.wordpress.com/2006/11/02…ible-children/ __________________ Mobo: Asus M4A79XTD EVO||CPU: AMD 720BE || Memory: 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaws [...]

7 03 2012
Jessica M

If the video was made a long time ago and is outdated, then how come we see the new layouts of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter in the video?

7 03 2012
Kevin

Because the video he was talking about was made in 2003, and the video that you watched was made in 2012. You have to read first.

7 03 2012
Lola

They’re helping. Thats all that matters. Whether they are profiting or helping a partially unnecessary cause is up to each individual to decide. I see IC and its followers doing good in the world, and that is nothing that people should sit and complain about. If you would like to help a different cause, go out and do something about it yourself.

7 03 2012
Youth

You talk shit about an organization that have been just trying to be a positive influence for the youths in America. If they make profit from it, so what? Don’t those people also have to make a living? Kony’s health might be dwindling but does it change the fact that he is still there in Africa? Many of those abducted have been freed, but that does that mean all of them are free from captivity? Is it so wrong for an organization that has worked hard to spread awareness to the youth of America, to have some funding and work to completely obliterate at least one concerning issue in Uganda? If he still exists, that still gives him the opportunity to rise again. Ignorant people like you probably didn’t even take a chance to watch the video. He said that he makes talks of peace and then re-groups and attacks again. Funny, your heart is in Uganda, and yet you criticize others for trying to make a similar valiant effort. Cool story bro.

7 03 2012
Anonymous 2012

There are actually flaws to this article. I understand your opinions, however Invisible Children does not declare that this is still happening in Uganda to the extremity that it was previously. To quote directly from the Kony2012 event, “The LRA is no longer active in northern Uganda (where it originated) but it continues its campaign of violence in Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and South Sudan. In its 26-year history, the LRA has abducted more than 30,000 children and displaced at least 2.1 million people.” Nor is there main objective raising money, but raising awareness for the issue. Imagine, one person is inspired, and wants to help. Then they are opened to a world of corruption and other problems, and makes the efforts to help. This whole campaign is about awareness. In order to make any change in the world there needs to be recognition from the international community. Though let me emphasize that I really do understand where you’re coming from, and I see similar problems with Free the Children, there is way too much focus on advertisement and merchandise. Though, let’s get real here, every organization starts at a grassroots level and with the right skills and intentions end up at an internationally known level. I commend Invisible Children and their efforts in raising AWARENESS (their main priority and focus) rather than raising money, though of course in order to raise awareness it is essential that you raise money, they come hand in hand.

7 03 2012
Andrea

so in other words don’t do shit people, keep your money, keep your mouths shut about this because apparently this is old and we’re all late to it. Let all those innocent people in Uganda and Africa die, because America has its own stupid problems and we apparently cant do shit. Way to kill everyone’s spirit guys….

7 03 2012
Rachel

I agree with you! but I still feel that we need to catch Joseph Kony and put him to death. Hes taken the right away from so many people he doesn’t get to have any rights.

7 03 2012
Caroline

You seem to say you have more knowledge on this subject than the rest of us, so why are you not giving more of the true information? In all honesty we don’t really know what happens in Uganda, or indeed anywhere other than the country and culture we are from. If we don’t either, visit ourselves, which you think is wrong, or look to people who have visited for information, according to the article, also wrong… what do you sugest people do?
Another point, if he was starving to death in the jungle 5 years ago, how is he still alive to be arrested today? Something doesn’t quite add up there.

7 03 2012
Dan

Why stop with Kony? How about Museveni2012? Or UPDF2012? Both sides were responsible for the attrocities against the Acholi people of Northern Uganda. To say that it was only Kony is completely irresponsible. Where is Invisible Children’s criticism for the Ugandan government, President and army – the UPDF?

7 03 2012
a.frankum

Just in relation to the peace talks between kony and Ugandan government, was that one of the ones the IC video talks about? Where Kony was just regaining his power over the country? Just curious.

7 03 2012
Robt

I think the IC’s goal right now is to raise awareness. And I was wondering where you heard that people will be sleeping in major citys. Because what I gathered from all the facebook groups and the IC’s video is that on April 20th people are going to donate their time to post posters to raise awareness. Not sleep in the street as you suggested. Also the campain isn’t called help Uganda its called Kony 2012. Its about stopping Kony no matter where he is. I do respect that you are entitled to your own opinion but you seem to have a bias agenda when writing this article. You had stated that the IC’s website looks nice but has no information. For someone that preached about proper information a few times your information seems to be a little off. I.e. “There have been many inspired to do more than just watch a DVD and sleep downtown for a night. ” Also “Invisible Children is too late. It has taught us that MTV type media can get university students interested in a world crisis, the problem is it took too much time.” end quotes. If you remember the video you will remember that the first place the IC went to is the American government and was turned away. The IC decided that to get the government to listen the IC needed to get the people to speak up. Yes this may have taken a long time but the word is out now none the less. And before this video you never heard of this many people speaking out on one subject from this age group. Government’s wish they could get this kind of responce from this age group for voting and maybe just maybe this could be the connection that the people and the government have been looking for. But that is something different. Bottom line is that is not to late as you suggested because Kony is still around. Compairing 9/11 to this is just plain silly. Both are tragic stories. The difference is Kony has been doing this for years and still is, 9/11 does not involve taking kids while they sleep or using kids to kill. 9/11 the American government acted right away. Kony “Not our problem” How can the children of the world not be our problem? Everyone is born an innocent child. If we don’t stop Kony now think of the kids that will grow up and think this is okay behavour. For every kid Kony takes and we do nothing about is another child that could grow up to be just like him. Also I would suggest that next time you are in Uganda you tell the victims that the people in the “west” are only raising their voices to their government and not doing anything important. I.e. your question “Why will thousands of people participate in IC’s Global Night Commute but not take the time to actually find out what is going on in Uganda today?” The Ic’s night commute is about rasing awareness. I understand the Ic’s Star rating is only 2 out of 4. But sense when was doing something a waste? I do say that it sounds like you do alot of work for the Uganda community and congrat’s for that. But I don’t understand why you felt the need to put down the IC for doing things a different way. The old way wasn’t working. Kony is still around. It’s these out of the box ideas that young people can relate to and will change the world. Sorry for the rant. I do not mean to offend you in anyway.

P.s. Isn’t the saying: Better late then never!

7 03 2012
Johannes B.

There is nothing wrong with spreading information and creating awareness. however, i agree that thoughtless foreign aid especially in the form of donations to organisations consisting of white foreigners who just happen to be in the country on short-term missions will -like any naïve attempt without well founded background knowledge- cause more damage than help.
Anyways in my opinion the emphasis of the Kony 2012 film is creating awareness by publicizing Konys crimes against humanity not promoting to pump money into uganda. I for myself think it is a good thing to make his crimes a subject of public interest, certainly a better topic than Lana del Reys lip-job, it might really work to keep the U.S.A. from withdrawing their support on Konys capture as long as the public doesn’t lose interest. I can support that with a clear consciense.
On the other hand i’d never donate money as it will only create foreign dependency and corrupt politicians …but like i said, that is only my opinion.

7 03 2012
Blind Cyclops
7 03 2012
Michelle Dolan

This is an interesting article as I’ve also been to Uganda and agree one hundred percent that aid has created the ‘dependent nations’ of ‘Mzungu give me my money!’ locals didn’t work with the aid agencies rather sat back and watched tge work being done.
However I don’t really agree with the belief that this IC movement is negative. Yes they might be late but why should Kony be allowed to die in the jungle of the Congo? Remember Rwanda? Shouldn’t that have thought us that sometimes it’s essential to intervene? From the people I spoke to in Rwanda they wondered why the wold didn’t care, is it not fair to presume that even though the IC are late they have created an amazing global awareness? Once people bring to realise that the mightly heroic American government isnt taking care of all but taking care or themselves then maybe in the future we’ll be quicker to get involved…

7 03 2012
Funmi Jean (@IyAmJeanhadu)

im African from Nigeria and this has been something other enlightened africans have been talking and complaining about. We dont need foreign help, we need to get independent to break free and get revolution…. we have too much external influence still.

7 03 2012
Funmi Jean (@IyAmJeanhadu)

We learnt the hard way that the American govt only care cuz of other motives…… they dont care about us really, there was Rwanda, Sierra Leone , and even Boko Haram in Nigeria right now. what if we were another planet?????? we’ll survive. The most important issues dont get that much attention.

7 03 2012
Robinator

Please consider that your plug for a competing aid organization appears as a conflict of interest and devalues the rest of what you say.

7 03 2012
7 03 2012
Mary

Its not about the money, it’s just about helping others and raising awareness..If you’re thinking or worrying about where the money goes then why help in the first place?

7 03 2012
Beware Throwing Your Support Behind Invisible Children and Their Kony Bandwagon | Politi-Sane

[...] Kony is on the run, having been pushed out of Uganda, and it’s likely he will soon be caught, if he isn’t already dead. But killing Kony won’t fix anything, just as killing Osama bin Laden didn’t end terrorism. The [...]

7 03 2012
THIS IS WHAT THE WORLD SHOULD BE LIKE : Pia Hysj

[...] stiller seg kritisk til bølgen som nå er satt i sving, som bla hevder at problemet allerede er løst. Men, jeg kan ikke bruke nevneverdig med energi på å stille meg kritisk akkurat nå. “This [...]

7 03 2012
KONY 2012 (Scam?) | WAPA - We Are Party Animals

[...] Kony is on the run, having been pushed out of Uganda, and it’s likely he will soon be caught, if he isn’t already dead. But killing Kony won’t fix anything, just as killing Osama bin Laden didn’t end terrorism. The [...]

9 03 2012
Zippy

I completely agree. We too took out Saddam and what? There still is bloodshed in Iraq

7 03 2012
7 03 2012
124 fernando pando « whalebones

[...] CLICK CLICK AGAIN [...]

7 03 2012
Kayla

‘Invisible Children’ is far from perfect. They are a nonprofit group, who relies entirely on donations. It has been made public that they spend nearly 70% of these donated funds on travel expenses, media, and propaganda rather than directly on the cause. The man they say they are after is Joseph Kony, but he has already been defeated by Uganda. Now along with the rest of the LRA, he terrorizes Congo. Many people would consider what the KONY 2012 campaign is doing is “old news”, a waste of time. Yes Kony is no longer directly affecting Uganda, but I disagree completely that this is old news. The effects from his regime are still being felt; the people of Uganda are hurt, living in fear that he will return, that the LRA will take control once more. I’m not blind to the fact that Kony is just one man. He is clearly not the only one behind the horrors taking place in Uganda and Congo. The ‘Invisible Children’ group knows this too. By focusing in on one man though, they have a starting point to fight back. Kony is just the beginning. It is long overdue that North America truly steps in and intervenes against war crimes. KONY 2012 isn’t just about Kony though, it’s about proving that we live in a world where social media shapes history, where people have power in what our Governments do. KONY 2012 is not the solution to stopping child soldiers, rape or abduction. But it is a start. ‘Invisible Children’ is just a group of people who are doing what they think is most effective, spreading the word. I support this group entirely. And though I do not agree with their solution to fight this battle using military, I understand that this is likely the only way to stop Kony. Let 2012 mark the end of North America’s blindness in foreign affairs, the end of our ignorance.

9 03 2012
BR

So Kayla, you should also know that your action (and everyone else supporting #Kony2012) will impact people in Central Africa in a negative way. The military action you’re supporting is part of US foreign policy – your activism is helping the US government ease its way into Africa’s conflicts. Africans will not thank you for those efforts.

As part of the end of the “ignorance” you mentioned above, please also find out how deeply involved the US and Uganda have been on a military level, and for how long. This is not new.

7 03 2012
PEOPLE POWER – The Truth About KONY 2012 |

[...] – The Visible Problem with Invisible Children [...]

7 03 2012
7 03 2012
Anon

I think a lot of you are missing the point here. It’s not about making money and its not about putting America first over other countries.

The whole idea was to STOP KONY. These peace missions are all to save the lives of others, even though you don’t personally know them. ITS NOT THE CHILDREN’S FAULT THEY WERE BROUGHT UP IN A CORRUPT COUNTRY. As one of the most powerful countries in the world, America should be stepping forward and saving whatever there is left to save. It’s still better than nothing.

And if, as the article suggests, it is too little too late then some one must ask, why didn’t we know sooner? The makers and organisers of the video and invisible children deserve some kudos for actually bringing attention to an issue. Blasted all over the news is Afghanistan and other wars zones America is associated with but how come with all the mass killing, no one knew about it?

People can learn a thing or two from the Invisible Children group. I am from New Zealand and not a single person I know has had a negative view towards KONY 2012. School principals are endorsing it, raising money for the cause, and our country is willing to send resources. I must ask why, America? Why don’t you step up and make a difference for these helpless people? If they do arrest Kony and it is too little too late then that’s still better than nothing. He’s the most wanted man in the world does that not mean anything? Leading countries like America should do exactly that, LEAD

7 03 2012
Anon

THERES NOTHING WRONG WITH THEM TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. I find them so inspirational. The thought that one idea and one video can change someone’s life and change the world. What’s your problem?

7 03 2012
Tim

“Yes, but it will not let you know what is happening there today.”

Maybe not, but doesn’t this?

http://www.lracrisistracker.com/

7 03 2012
Grant

The problem that I have as I am reading through this is that I can’t help but think that we are willing to sit back and let this continue. I know that Invisible Children doesn’t give 100% back to Uganda but it sounds like they wouldn’t need that anyway.

If you look at the situation behind Kony2012, it is a problem that is bigger than IC. He may not be in Uganda any longer, but his mission is still the same. To know about it and do nothing with it is hard to swallow. So even if 100% of my money isn’t going to Uganda, but is going to spread awareness so that Kony is arrested, I am ok with that. I think it is important to know where your money is going and as long as you are ok with the mission of the organization, continue to support it.

To get into the mindset that IC is the only one doing anything in Uganda or Africa is naive. However, I have met Jacob and I have heard his story and I have no doubt that IC is doing good work. I contribute to their legacy fund where 100% of my money is going to help a student through school. Even if it is 50%, it is something that I can give back. It isn’t the only place we help out, but it is one that is near and dear to the heart of me and my wife and I support the awareness of the monster that Kony is in 2012.

7 03 2012
Heather Tory-Orr

Need to know the other side to make an informed decision. Having been in Africa and seeing the number of people who go with no idea of what they are really doing or the purpose I think this something everyone should consider.

7 03 2012
KONY 2012: FUCK YEAH « David Robertson

[...] against, in very plain terms. There’s a good piece in the Independent too, and a rather more scathing criticism from 2006 (yes, 6 years ago a similar viral campaign [...]

7 03 2012
Quite Disappointed

There are so many things wrong with the post. Just want to say, good on you for discouraging people from trying to act. There first step is to inspire people to care about other people when we’ve all be taught very young to put ourselves first. I’m all for educated decisions and intelligent use of resources, but you don’t have anything when nobody cares. Critique, but at least make it balanced.

P.s. if you cared about Uganda/Africa, how could you minimize or undermine any positive action towards. It’s really quite disappointing.

7 03 2012
Chloe vanhousenjken

You are the biggest joke. Wy should you tell us to give up and forget about all those horrible things. Your article is unfocused, we the invisible children want to get rid of Kony, not just push him further away. Im glad he is starving and I am proud to be from a country that has committed and spend money on an actual good cause for once. If they don’t want it then why have so many come to talk about the horrible events, don’t you dare try to make whats happening over there notes bad as September 11, they are both horrible.
Shame on you
There may be a lot of people like you but there are more people who care, and this article won’t stop us, in fact it is making us even more hungry to end these horrific events while you just troll on a computer.
Once again, shame on you.

7 03 2012
merrrrrrr

<3

7 03 2012
KONY2012 und Invisible Children | Spreeblick

[...] und in US-amerikanischen Blogs schon länger zumindest mit Argwohn, aber auch mit klaren Warnungen betrachtet wird. Nur etwa 31% der recht hohen Einnahmen der Organisation fließen tatsächlich in die vorgegebenen [...]

7 03 2012
Infectious Spring « ambfso

[...] and yet, sad. They are just trying to do the right thing. Right? You can find the write-up here: http://ilto.wordpress.com/2006/11/02/the-visible-problem-with-invisible-children/. It’s also always a good idea to check out the charity before giving to it. I’m not [...]

7 03 2012
Ollie

I think that the main thing is the ic have drawn enough attention to this subject so that articles like this are being brought to light.

All opinions should soon be heard and not just forgotten about in a single blog.

I also don’t think it will stop with Kony, new dictators and political criminals will be chased. The ic have started a new wave of power for the social networking community.

7 03 2012
Kony Revisited. A Good Project Indeed? « Le Quattro Stagioni

[...] Kony is on the run, having been pushed out of Uganda, and it’s likely he will soon be caught, if he isn’t already dead. But killing Kony won’t fix anything, just as killing Osama bin Laden didn’t end terrorism. The [...]

7 03 2012
7 03 2012
Mymmy

If the point was to make him famous, ISN’T IT OVER NOW??? PLEASE?

7 03 2012
Fred Fighter

Joseph Kony and the LRA are currently active in the Republic of the Congo with 20 new attacks on villages since the first of this year.

http://www.unhcr.org/4f55f6079.html

FF

7 03 2012
Kony 2012: A critical response from a filmmaker and student of civil society | The Freedonian

[...] A further interesting blog post about IC and foreign development in general (some of the blog comments are also interesting) Tweet Tags: Advocacy, Civil Society, IC, Invisible Children, Kony, Kony 2012, NGOs [...]

7 03 2012
Michael Dunthorne

Despite the difficulty reading the article after seeing the film I can understand where you are coming from. However, is it not possible that this form of communication between people can help solve problems like this in Africa and beyond. Admittedly it will take years such as it has for IC to go viral but it seems to working from the evidence you have given on Kony’s physical state. Maybe this is the start of a new way for the public to have their say

7 03 2012
Tammy Thoy Stewart

Interesting article!! Thanking for bringing awareness to this matter.

7 03 2012
sick of this kony shit | corpse69

[...] Uganda by the film, is practically non-existent now. Why? Peace is coming to the region.” (Source). I’ve also learned that Invisible Children Inc isn’t even accredited by the Better Business [...]

7 03 2012
The moral issues of KONY 2012 – where should the money go to? | En Strålande Utsikt

[...] there are some sources saying that the LRA threat in Uganda is over. One blog post I ran into even said that the people making this film started this project so long ago that the situation [...]

7 03 2012
so yeah read this and be alittle smarter | corpse69

[...] Uganda by the film, is practically non-existent now. Why? Peace is coming to the region.” (Source). I’ve also learned that Invisible Children Inc isn’t even accredited by the Better Business [...]

7 03 2012
Jason Barr

Hey didnt it say that he has pretended to make peace many times and then just attacks once again. They arent forcing u to give money they are just spreading so others can think about what is going on in the world. So for all the people that think its fake listen, this may seem like a scam to u but its not, if u knew friends and family killed or taken would u just stand there. Well Uganda is trying to stop him but ends up failing because they do not know enough about him. It took us 4 years to stop and defeat Hitler. And the guy who made this video says he wants this to only take 1 year. by the end of 2012 he is goin to take of this video. Then what, everyone forgets, and moves on. No! because people in Uganda can not forget. Even if its not him leading the LRA, someone else will and it will start all over again. Thats why this guy is trying make it so we remember and help people from not only Uganda but to prevent this from happenning all around the world.

7 03 2012
Ask questions. #Kony2012 Michele Boyd – Actor. Geek.

[...] also overly simplistic and potentially [...]

7 03 2012
7 03 2012
Ozzy V

This is not about aid. This is about bringing an evil man to justice.

7 03 2012
Jessie

The killing of Osama Bin Laden won’t stop terrorism just like the capture and arrest of Kony won’t stop the issues all these countries are having. Posting a video and making the world “aware” of a problem isn’t going to make the authorities in these countries better equiped to deal with the situation.

Throwing money at IC isn’t going to change anything either. If they do eventually capture Kony, another face will step in to carry on his work. He is just a face and his death or capture isn’t going to solve any problems. That’s just putting a band aid on a bullet wound.

7 03 2012
Just sayin...

Isn’t the entire point of this to raise awareness to the issue and have people CALL their congressmen/women so that action will be taken in the House and then the Senate? If we don’t let them know we actually care, then they will never bother to take action.
Joseph Kony is not the only leader btw… he has at least 2 other counterparts that are still alive. Even if Kony dies from starvation/natural causes, what will happen to the thousands of innocent kids he’s brainwashed to become cold blooded murderers? They don’t know any better. In fact, the way I see it, they don’t even need a leader if they’ve been brainwashed well enough– they’ll just go through life abducting more people convinced that what their doing is right. They don’t necessarily need to be told to do it if they are brainwashed into thinking it’s their duty…

7 03 2012
Just sayin...

*they’re doing is right.

7 03 2012
Kyle Allan

A buddy of mine posted this on twitter, seems like a lot of people are on board with putting the final nail in the coffin, but where w’re they when this started? The guy is a non-issue and hasn’t been for a few years

7 03 2012
chuck dash parker dot net – your unreliable narrator » Blog Archive » being aware of “awareness” campaigns

[...] paragraphs are largely sourced from a few articles I found – this piece at The Daily What and this somewhat more involved piece at I’m A Fan of Postcards, which go into more detail about Invisible Children’s mission and efforts. Both talk about [...]

7 03 2012
Counter Argument: Kony 2012 | Uniquely Odd

[...] Kony is on the run, having been pushed out of Uganda, and it’s likely he will soon be caught, if he isn’t already dead. But killing Kony won’t fix anything, just as killing Osama bin Laden didn’t end terrorism. The [...]

7 03 2012
Before You Repost Kony 2012… – Wesleying

[...] For a bit more information read this, this, and this. [...]

7 03 2012
Helen

I do agree that Invisible Children kinda made it seem like the LRA and Kony are still prominent issues to this very day when in reality things have settled down, but what IC is doing is still really important. Most people have no idea who Joseph Kony is and IC is trying to change that. Kony may be “sick, starving, and on his last legs” but that doesn’t change the fact that he is a horrible person like you said. If there’s a murder and he just stops murdering people no one goes “oh, well he’s not harming anyone now, so let’s just leave him alone.” Kony still needs to be captured. The Kony campaign is just trying to get people to know about Kony. They’re trying to “make him famous.” It’s UNICEF and other charities that need to let Africa be and figure out some things on their own. So, IC and UNICEF have flaws. So do every other organization. I don’t support everything the IC may be doing, but I think this is where the “it’s the thought that counts” really comes into play. So, saying all that there is a guy who does a very good job of showing a 3rd world country and how it HAS changed for the better.

7 03 2012
Fred Fighter

Joseph Kony and the LRA continue to murder civilians and kidnap children in the Republic of the Congo.

http://www.unhcr.org/4f55f6079.html

FF

7 03 2012
KONY 2012, Invisible Children — A scam, sorry to say. « Billy Moses

[...] Kony is on the run, having been pushed out of Uganda, and it’s likely he will soon be caught, if he isn’t already dead. But killing Kony won’t fix anything, just as killing Osama bin Laden didn’t end terrorism. The [...]

7 03 2012
Social Media Kony 2012 | FRANk

[...] another side to the discussion by way of a balanced [...]

7 03 2012
Orange Juice Crackers

Reblogged this on Uniquely Odd.

7 03 2012
tinwatchman

Say what you will about the film, but more people knowing about Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army can only be a good thing in my book.

9 03 2012
BR

So, more people knowing about Kony is not a good thing when the story has been terribly shortchanged and “advocacy groups” take credit for plans which were already in place to apprehend him. It doesn’t matter that you know about Kony if you don’t know the context of the story or that the United States has been actively monitoring the situation for decades (yes… way before Invisible Children ventured there).

But then, TinWatchman, your attitude (like many of the people commenting pro #StopKony) is that of Invisible Children’s core audience, definitely not too concerned about details, history, just need to feel good about “spreading awareness.”

It’s scary watching how easily Americans are manipulated, but probably amusing for China… But on the other hand – also read lots responses and tweets indicating many people weren’t fooled for a second by #Kony2012, even at first take — so it is a battle between the informed and uninformed. Funny the uninformed are the ones “for” the so-called “cause!”

7 03 2012
wsaleem

Thanks for sharing this. I agree a lot of us really don’t know about what is going and has been going on in Uganda (including me) but it’s great how IC was able to get so many people aware about this issue and involved globally. I think that’s something unique and should be appreciated. Anyway, you mentioned that Kony has ran to different countries so wouldn’t their cause still be valid because they are trying to catch Kony, whether or not it affects Uganda?

7 03 2012
Mark

James, I’d like to credit you on Twitter, you’re article is posted under #KonyCritique. Do you have a @name?

Thanks.

7 03 2012
As a responsible blogger… « babycakesandwafflefries

[...] Kony is on the run, having been pushed out of Uganda, and it’s likely he will soon be caught, if he isn’t already dead. But killing Kony won’t fix anything, just as killing Osama bin Laden didn’t end terrorism. The [...]

7 03 2012
Tess

Kony may have moved out of Uganda- but he has not stopped terrorizing. That is the whole point of the Invisible Children campaign: TO CAPTURE HIM and bring those children to JUSTICE. Brush up on your research.

7 03 2012
Smiles

After realizing that if I was to keep reading all the comments left behind I’d be here till Christmas; whilst my comment will be drowned out be the millions of other overriding opinions, I would just like to say a few things.
1. regardless of whether IC is old news or not, I think the defamation of KONY is a great public flogging, I mean how many other megalomaniac war lords and psychopaths out there doing this, and worse?
2. Say this guy really is dying, and is somewhere out in the middle of the jungle; personally I think it would be a better sight to watch him die in a filthy prison and rot there till the rat have picked his bone clean to be honest, I mean come on, everything he’s done he deserves to be thrown in 25-life.
3. Even if Kony isn’t out there, he’s dead and gone, IC have been helping to build up schools, health clinics and hospitals in torn areas of Uganda to try and rebuild all the damage, and you think taking out African Aid as a good thing.. get real.

7 03 2012
Fred Fighter

Joseph Kony and the LRA are currently active in the Republic of the Congo with 20 new attacks on villages since the first of this year.

http://www.unhcr.org/4f55f6079.html

See also:

http://www.lracrisistracker.com/

FF

7 03 2012
kaycaesar

Reblogged this on Happiness Is To Help.

7 03 2012
Kai

Wow, as a young teenage I’m glad that I could read this article before deciding to hop on the IC train! I knew something was off, being that I knew that these events took place years ago. Thank you!

8 03 2012
Mel

Hi Kai,

Don’t give up like that, read more into the subject then make your decision. I have been reading several different opinions since I saw the Kony 2012 movie yesterday and it’s not as easy as believing one “side”or the other. It appears, from what I have been reading, that Kony is still active, just not in Uganda, he is still committing the atrocities and he still needs to pay for what he has done. While I don’t agree to giving senselessly, I do agree with sharing information and that the power is with knowledge and sharing that knowledge with others. How can these people build a better life for themselves (or even their old lives if that is what they wish) without being able to live without fear!! He needs to be stopped!!

Mel

7 03 2012
herds

You are “typical uninformed American” if you..

believing your country, state or small town is the center of the universe

are a university kid who wants to make a change

make a slick, mtv video to support your cause

go to Africa to try to help (your trip to Africa to provide aid, was not as important as the authors)

Africa does not need your “help”

forget about the 10,000 night commuting kids. They would rather die than have your american ass try to help them.

7 03 2012
funalava

This is all about building awareness. My hope is that once people know that there is more going on outside of their little personal bubble, they will be more open to lending a helping hand where it is needed. There are organizations that instead of giving hand outs, gives hands up, teaching people how to be self sufficient. Once awareness is made, I think that those are the organizations that could use the helping hand. I know that giving to sustainability isn’t as “sexy” as giving to an organization with a starving poster child, but in the long run, it does more.

Hope you don’t mind my little rant here, but I just needed to say something.

7 03 2012
jenna

Whilst yes, you’re comments do make sense and perhaps in some way they too are correct. But the IC isn’t just about getting Kony and this is fatal mistake everyone is making. It’s about changing our world. I’m not brainwashed by this whole thing, i have seen the video and i do see the other side, however what i think most people are failing to see is whilst yes, it is an organisation dedicated to making one man famous and changing Uganda, it’s also about changing our lives. It’s something that hasn’t been completely done before like this. It’s a start for us change our world instead of wasting time thinking that the UN or our governments will do something. Because in case anyone hasn’t noticed – this stuff is happening worldwide and there’s aid for it sure – but is any of it stopping? It may have happened years ago – but it’s still happening, maybe not in Uganda, but other places in Africa, the middle east etc. Before you go anti-IC for what they’re trying to do, just think: it’s not all about Joseph Kony – it’s about us, the youth of today, who don’t have those problems, getting off facebook and doing something worthwhile

7 03 2012
myexquisitelife

I wanted to say i really enjoyed your article. well written, informative, and i’m glad you’re sharing your opinion but I do disagree with your advice: “Don’t blindly fly yourself to a developing country like a Western idiot.” I disagree because awareness about an issue is the FIRST step to any kind of change. We can read about it, watch videos and even hear first hand stories about victim’s dreadful-heart wrenching experiences but we need “western idiots” to go out there and experience what is actually happening, come back and motivate more people to do it. The more exposure, and awareness we create, the better we can understand the situation and the more motivated and better equipped we can be to help the situation.

7 03 2012
ashley

I completely agree with what your saying about foreign aid in other countries. I know we think were helping and ew wanna help but do you really think our solution is benificial we don’t know anything bout life there except what we choose to ‘believe’ from videos like this without doing any research. We have never stopped to think what the country wants, if they even want our help, our world are different then there’s we can’t go pushing things onto trhose people and assume everythings going to be better now.

7 03 2012
inventingpaperspeech

Reblogged this on Inventingpaperspeech's Blog and commented:
Good article.

7 03 2012
AngelaBanks

I like this because sounds sincere and i hate people that talk without knowing, you apparently knows a lot, must of us dont, that’s why i consider IC important because they teach us a lot, maybe not everything, but a lot, and maybe what they are doing doesnt directly help… but it makes you think about life, about what you have and how you are wasting time on earth, so i support IC, they are not perfect but they are trying to help, hopefully that help will be appropriately distributed.

7 03 2012
Emma

Referring back to the 911 analogy, the US fought to bring justice to the group and its leader that caused the tragedy and Why shouldn’t we pursue to bring justice to a leader and a group that has done another country a tragedy? An eye for an eye may not agree with everyone but I believe one eye for thousand is respectable. Therefore, I believe the Invisible Children action to be a good thing for will not only progress towards Kony’s justice but it will change all the youth who participate.

7 03 2012
Bryan Jordan Gamez

This is really pissing me off. They really know how to cut to the core of us dumb Americans.

7 03 2012
scouteradam

Reblogged this on Scouteradam's Blog and commented:
Hello all: So, the KONY2012 Video is floating around Facebook, Twitter and anything else. Granted, KONY is a complete Bastard and needs to be taken out. How he has gotten away with this for this long is horrible. However, let’s get another look at what the group who is putting this out. While, they achived their point of getting me aware of this issue and who this guy is, I think that there is an issue on what’s happening now. Now, the Nations at UN and those who are working to put him away, just need to do so.

7 03 2012
Maxdiel Robles Tortello

here is the response that IC wrote again critics, hope you guys see the two sides of the story

http://s3.amazonaws.com/www.invisiblechildren.com/critiques.html

7 03 2012
Shafiq Zaib

What do you have to say about the crisis tracker, that is an update on real-time abductions occurring by the LRA. That’s difficult to argue and claim there is peace in Africa. It’s pretty amazing done by IC. check it out here — http://www.lracrisistracker.com/

7 03 2012
nuTt

Hello there,
It’s nice to know about all this info. Abt how foreign aids are being used to help these nations, etc. But in the end, don’t you think what really matters is how we can help children, without having to regard their background (races, nationality, statuses)? You can help the needy in the streets, the rich kids with social issues, and the school kids who’s struggling with studies in schools.

I think I’ve been listening too much to Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All”….

Still, this issue’s no joke no matter where we are, like in this Kony dude’s case.. sure he’s dying or whatever, but don’t you think we should salvage the lives he’d ruined?

Just saying~

x nuTt

7 03 2012
Michelle

Look, Africa has nothing compared to us. If you don’t support it, don’t donate, don’t hang up posters and don’t wear a bracelet or a t-shirt. I know this for sure – if my child was kidnapped by a man, forced to kill people, forced to perform sex acts and have his face mutilated by other children, I would want someone, ANYONE, to help. I’m helping. I put a picture to each of those children’s faces. $30.00 out of my pocket – I get an entire kit, including bracelet, t-shirt, posters, etc…to save one child? It’s worth it. Even just to try. Hell, I spend that on appetizers and a meal at Applebee’s.

7 03 2012
Fred Fighter

Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army do continue to murder families and kidnap children.

http://www.unhcr.org/4f55f6079.html

FF

7 03 2012
Whiskey4

Even if I wrote a terribly long rant, bashing KONY 2012 and Invisible Children and exposing their hypocritical “charity” for refusing to reveal their long-term motives and origins of capital while preaching awareness- even if I went on to share a website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15645354) that exposed a potential incentive for starting a political discussion about anything that is Uganda- and even if I had the nerve to prove that, as opposed to the message in the video, KONY 2012 is a media campaign focused exclusively on US soil and media (http://www.google.com/insights/search/#q=Kony%202012&geo=GB%2CUS&date=today%203-m&cmpt=geo), I’d still essentially be talking about KONY 2012, and therefore contributing to their cause. So don’t hate.

7 03 2012
Kat

It’s fun to play God until someone asks you to perform a miracle.

7 03 2012
Kat

Also why not just send 30 dollars to an actual charity instead of buying 30 dollars worth of stuff? You know most of that money goes to pay their web designer.

8 03 2012
Michelle

Sending money to an actual charity is great, and I do that regularly as well but this is different. I wouldn’t call this a charity at all. This is a cause. It’s not helping victims of another country because there was a tsunami, or a volcano that ruined their land. There is a man, the age of some of our fathers, kidnapping children – the age of my son – and forcing them to do things that are unspeakable. That is not a charity. Donating clothing that doesn’t fit is a charity. Sending rice to a food bank is donating to charity. This is saving the life of a child. And, it’s not $30 dollars worth of stuff – it’s $30 dollars worth of posters, buttons, bumper stickers, etc, – used to distribute throughout the city to spread the word about Kony.

8 03 2012
Watch this video

[...] [...]

8 03 2012
Carol

As you stated… you wrote this several years ago.
Please tell me, if Kony isn’t still a threat as your diatribe insists, then why are nations still passing laws, etc in an attempt to catch and stop him?
Your commentary sounds more like a defense of a man who has spent decades slaughtering innocent people. It also sounds like you have a personal reason to stop people from thinking of Kony negatively. Like spending lots of time, there, do you?
While I agree that we have sent too much aid to Africa, I also acknowledge that the reason why Africa “needs” this excessive amount of aid is because of people like Kony. If the aid that was being sent wasn’t intercepted and sent to the “wrong” people, then more aid wouldn’t be needed.
If the UN would stop it’s worthless “peace keepers” and literally go in and do a job right, Africa would quickly be on the road to recovery.

8 03 2012
tali

The guy that wrote this article is obviously not in touch with the situation in central Africa. Although Kony no longer terrorises the people of Uganda he most certainly still reins free in the Congo; abducting, raping and killing people with even less social and financial support than those of Uganda. The Ugandan people spent much of the 20 year conflict isolated from the world, which is why the new doco focuses on raising awareness and support for those facing similar threats in the Congo. Invisible Children is the only organisation I know of that has ever worked this hard or relentlessly to expose one of world’s greatest atrocities.

The invisible children foundation is one of the only organisations in Uganda today that educates the people and teaches them life skills to be self sustainable while not enforcing a particular religion upon them.

It’s sad that this guy can’t rejoice in the fact that people all over the world have found something selfless to come together for.

8 03 2012
Thoughts on KONY 2012 « Chick of the Flicks

[...] damage. Demanding Kony’s arrest can help but only to a certain extent. As pointed out by this blog post, the violence of the Lord’s Resistance Army is in the past of Uganda while corruption [...]

8 03 2012
Keston

There is a theory called Dependent Development. That is what I suppose you are referring to when you speak of Aid and Africa. There is another side to this where the Western capitalists benefit; dumping of goods as well as a ready market is provided for goods often produced at a surplus in the ‘developed’ country and often highly subsidised (anti-WTO rules).

It really isn’t fair to stay “STOP ALL AID TO AFRICA” and that won’t happen soon because clearly there is cached agenda which we would not come to know unless we understand a ‘developing’ world perspective.

8 03 2012
Keston
8 03 2012
Kony 2012 - Page 2 - Blazer Forum - Chevy Blazer Forums

[...] Interesting read: The Visible Problem with Invisible Children [...]

8 03 2012
For a good cause « amored by pandolin

[...] strongly disagree. Let me elaborate on the people who disagree first; you can read them here and here (there are many more but I’m not going to read all of them). The first article is a bit too [...]

8 03 2012
Nicole

I find this outrageous and inexplicably a bad idea.
Dear Jason,
Your propaganda you use is rather remarkable planned out. They way you are manipulating people, is rather ridiculous, lobbying against our country is not the way to go about this. You need to act like an adult and bring this to the government, it’s almost sickening how your manipulation is working, I’m only a freshmen in High School, and I can see the flaws in your system. Yes, you have let people know who Kuhn is. Applauds for you. It’s time to grow up.

We live in an imperfect world. Why try and make it better when you can start with yourself. I do agree things could change in Africa, not just Ura. Everywhere. Nothing is perfect though, and through the suffering we can help them by donating to the country not trying to cause a unnecessary revolution.. America can help, but isn’t it fair to give our armies a break. This isn’t our fight in Uganda, this is their fight. It’s time we let countries and nations stand on their own. They have voices, they can use them. We don’t need to mess with their system, yes we have ethic views, but it doesn’t mean we are right, we as humans believe whatever we are taught and are naive and trust what we think is right, a.k.a a reference to our religion and also our government system.

Looking at your video, I noticed the special affects, and it most likely cost a lot to put that together, yes I guess if you only have a year you want a attention getter, but that must have been pricey.. I find it amusing how all the people in your video are flawless with little acne.. Makeup or actors? Also, I enjoyed how you filled in the crowds with fake people.

Jason, you are trying to make war with something unnesicary, the lives of people in Uranda, are very important, each life is important, but you’re doing is the wrong way. It’s almost a Hitler movement, it’s going to break our nation apart and cause conflict, that child you want to grow up in a perfect world is gonna see what his father did. Nice.(Lovely use of a toddler in your video also.) Our armies need a break, you fight them. With your army you are building up of college students, leave the government out of this. They are right to not mess with Uganda, there are people suffering here and all over the world. We are not perfect, nor you.
Fight with your men, don’t bring men into this who don’t want to fight.

If people die from this good Americans, just realize what you did.
-Nicole Houston, FL. Orlando

8 03 2012
8 03 2012
Heidi

I believe it is relevant if this took place 20 years ago or today! He needs to be brought to justice!! And it puts a great message out there that when we become aware! We stand together! I can’t afford to donate money in my economic situation, but I sure as hell can stand together with my fellow humans and say its not right!! And I will!!

8 03 2012
Kony 2012 - Music Banter

[...] Here's another interesting article on the topic that I found earlier today. I got into a few talks with people on different statuses about this whole thing. One fine young lady said it was "stupid" because it was critical of Invisible Children. Oh okay so you're getting upset over legitimate criticism of an organization you found out about, when, like yesterday? __________________ Your eyes were never yet let in to see the majesty and riches of the mind, but dwell in darkness; for your God is blind. [...]

8 03 2012
Helen Stockwell

So its ok to do nothing more than discuss and dwell on the situation which is clearly still an issue??

8 03 2012
Loopie

“What you may not know is that the US government is not going to get involved if it doesn’t benefit the American people”

How was getting involved in Vietnam, Chile, Irak, (I could go on and on and on) benefitial for the American People?

Let’s be real, the US government gets involved when it benefits the 1%.

8 03 2012
AsteriskBT

You are absolutely right. The US government only intervene into international affairs to profit the 1%. But even so, it is better to have done something about it rather than not doing anything about it at all. At the very least I do hope that my efforts would at least help make a difference in another individual’s life.

8 03 2012
8 03 2012
8 03 2012
Sky

IC Financials, and their current status with the BBB and various stances with the armed groups in Sudan and Uganda detailed here:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/www.invisiblechildren.com/critiques.html

8 03 2012
Anonmoose

Let’s take a step back here and re-group. There are two sides to this Rubik’s cube story. (By Rubik’s cube I mean to say that this is a very complicated situation.) The question of the IC’s place in foreign affairs, and whether or not it is true to its’s own cause. It is absolutely fantastic that normal people are trying to find a purpose, something that moves them, that they can believe in and support. I am all for peace and a sense of even marginal stability in the world as a whole.
But can even a large group of ordinary people make a difference? Even if it is spread out between many different countries and organizations? Who controls pretty much every military action and foreign policy decision? Government.
Now in order to actually make a difference, you need to garner support for your cause from all walks and sides of life, establish your primary goals and mission statement, and present it to the established decision maker in that country. You cannot do it with just one group, or even the power of “Celebrities”. They have the “Voice” to rile people up to think, to donate, but that doesn’t cause real change. Change starts with people actually getting up and doing something.
This is where I agree with OP, sitting outside in tents like the OWS is not going to change a thing. But it does promote awareness in an idea.
Now I can see where IC is trying to do this, and that ideology is something I can agree with. But I do not believe in making people pay for change. If you want to change something, you get up and you change it. You don’t like your job? You quit. It is your choice, even if it puts you in the poorhouse, who is another to tell you if its right or wrong?
At least you made a difference you believed in. So instead of plastering signs up and donating money, why don’t we storm Washington in unison for world peace? It worked with civil rights, with women’s rights, for all sorts of freedoms that we as Americans and all nations of the world enjoy. It’s not impossible because it has been proven to work.
All it takes is courage.

8 03 2012
Marie

It is my understanding that this is an old, out dated article that you are re-posting and spreading around the Internet yet most of the post talks about “old news”. Kind of hypocritical. Also, you say the IC crew is a bunch of clueless college kids and that people are blindly flying over there. You talk about your personal trip and experiences to that area so I ask you this, how did you arrive there? Weren’t you clueless and blind at one point too? The video is exactly what it should be in order to get people’s attention and be direct. You have to start somewhere. This is getting people to do their research, as questions and get involved. There is no harm in that. Also, the video and website extensively address all the way IC is helping to support the people in efforts to rebuild, further education, create jobs and set up networks that provide security. I am not seeing any harm at all in what IC is doing. None of what you said makes me think this is a bad thing. If it brings awareness, great! One step at a time.

8 03 2012
Joan

This article was not RE-posted here. It has been here for over 5 years. It’s not the author’s fault that other people are digging it up and citing it as “current”.

8 03 2012
Courtney Rose Braaten

when i watched this really touching film, i was moved to tears. ive always had a soft spot for africa, ever since i was young. Ive always wanted to do missions there or something just never knew how. so this film touched me. i wanted to be those people and help. i sat for a few mins after and just prayed about it. Whatever you lord, want me to do, is what i asked. The film sat in my brain for a while and i just couldnt shake it. Then on my facebook i saw someone posted one of these articles urging people to do there research before beginning any type of financial donations. It, really hit my heart hard that this might not be real. Yes the problem is still real, and awareness is key, but the urgency of it, may just be hype. I then urged my facebook friends to please proceed with caution, support from afar, until more is known. It just boggles my mind how we can be so ignorant to what goes on around us in the world. I mean USA has our own issues, prostituion, abortions, murder, etc. I mean what about womens rights in Iran and Iraq? or sex slave industry in Russia or Taiwan? I mean South America has enough to make us all want to throw our paychecks to help in any way. Its so overwhelming to think of all these people need help. Where do u start? What do u do? What can one person accomplish? Do we really have to lower ourselves to making a overly hyped video to get everyones attention? its so sad. I have no doubt that Africa needs our help, There was something that told me in the back of my mind, to hold off before i bought anything from them. And i know why now.

17 03 2012
robmorganaust

Bravo. Correct – but the urgency is, in reality, long past.

8 03 2012
Check you’r facts before you open you’r mouth « Izabella Katharina Jørgensen

[...] skrevet om saken, hvor de ofte holder med Visible Children, det par av disse er denne, denne og denne. Personlig står min fulle tillit fortsatt til Invisible Children, både før og etter dette [...]

8 03 2012
Courtney Rose Braaten

btw,
this is exactly what the IC wants, us talking about it. Doing research, arguing about it, making it our conversations. So if it is a genuine thing, they have succeeded in a huge way. Im just curious of where all of this goes, since it expires in dec 2012 and its only march.

8 03 2012
White Wolf

Thank You for promoting a Christian group and putting down the work of others. And may I ask how did You know six years ago when You wrote this that Kony was ill and dying?
He’s been dying for six years now, wow …

8 03 2012
8 03 2012
michelle

Everything and anything you want to know about invisible children can be found on their website (link above). They are not trying to keep secrets, or create a scam, they are not trying to become famous, or make a profit. This is a group of people dedicating their lives to helping other humans. Dedicated to giving a voice to those who are voicless. ‘Invisible Children’ is a group that is going to make an impact, and help. Support them, dont bash them.

17 03 2012
robmorganaust

Absolutely incorrect. Everything and anything that IC wants you to think is found on their website. Everything and anything that you should know about the entire geographic region, and whether Kony is even an important issue or not, is an open-ended journey of reading and awareness.

You will NOT get a balanced view from any of the links relating to the IC website. And there are many existing charities who have been making an impact, with a greater balance of funds delivered as aid, than IC. Probably because they didn’t blow all their money making a cute marketing video. (Something which IC’s financials shows very clearly).

8 03 2012
Anonymous

Reading this seriously angered me. Yes there may be peace now and kony is off hiding somewhere, but what happens when the IC stops getting support and the american troops helping are pulled out? Kony comes back and starts all over again. How many times has Kony comitted to peace and then turned around and ruined the lives of so many? A lot. The whole point of the IC is to capture and stop Kony from regaining power and ensuing fear amongst Uganda. Yes therre are other problems in the world but these 3 guys have actually seen what has happened to these children and decided to do something about it. They have started an organization to help the people of Uganda. They are helping to unite countries and people for a good cause. If one person from every group of friends was this dedicated to helping world problems then there might actually be such a thing as world peace. Watching there video was truly inspirational and deeply sadening to realise that there are many things going on in the world that not enough people know about. These guys have spent years dedicating themselves to helping the people of Uganda and free them from the fear that Kony has brought upon them. As I said there are many problems in the world, but just because these guys have done something about it, doesn’t give anyone else the right to say negative things about something that has united and helped people. Maybe instead of talking about all the other problems that are worse or whatever, you should take notes from these guys and do something about it.

8 03 2012
Chris Smyth

Brilliant

8 03 2012
Maria Ruggiero

This is unbelievable lets all jump on board and get this devil on earth …….

8 03 2012
desabafada

i totally get his point. and it’s really interesting how we self-righteous westerners don’t even bother or care to find out what central african activists who do work within their country think of our heroic intrusions in their backyard.

http://projectdiaspora.org/2012/03/08/respect-my-agency-2012/

8 03 2012
Max Bilbow

Its not that i dont believe in charity but i think a lot of projects are fruitless and a way to make people feel good about them selves…. its the selfish gene working its best.

Investing in africa, projects like a dam relief will help africa stand on its own two feet!

http://www.maxbilbow.com/archives/1113

8 03 2012
Jessica Veltman

Hi there.

This is a really wonderful and eye opening Blog Post! I really hope you don’t mind but have sort of re-blogged it on my own blog as I feel quite strongly about this. As do you.

If you wish to check the post out and make sure that everything is okay with it please do:

http://jessicaeharper.blogspot.com/2012/03/on-other-hand.html

It would be really great to stay in touch with you regarding this matter and cause as the whole thing intrigues me and the answers to the questions bewilder me somewhat. I guess there isnt an answer …

Many thanks

Jessica

8 03 2012
Helene

Well personally I feel that everything you said was also shown in the movie. That Kono has moved on, they were building schools (a good example that peace were in the country). I believe that it’s a good thing for raising awareness that this things can happen without the majority of the world knowing.

8 03 2012
Grace

http://s3.amazonaws.com/www.invisiblechildren.com/critiques.html

Please read and tell me what do you think of it.

8 03 2012
Jason

All of the privileged hair splitting and bickering has shown me that attempting to care about the plight of others can be fraught with moral hazard. I’m going to play it safe and concentrate on my Western Idiot problems.

8 03 2012
milesmadrants

I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of charity and it’s humiliating, whether you’re in a slum in a Third World country or living in a garage in a First World country. What makes it really bad is that most charity isn’t based on helping people to deal with their immediate needs then giving them the tools to get out of being in such need but on making the giver feel better (and superior) towards those they help. Charity often ignores the problem that needs to be addressed in favour of whatever thing the charity specialises in.
(And aid is just a polite word for charity.)

I often explain charity like this: A farmer is ploughing a field with his ox-pulled plough when the plough blade breaks. He goes to the local NGO to say he needs help to replace the plough blade. The following day a whole lot of charity workers turn up. One builds him a well, another builds him a proper toilet, another gives him a Bible, someone else gives him an immunisation for a whole lot of diseases and someone goes and gets him a large tractor. Six months later they find him begging in the streets and they ask why. He says, “Your tractor kept getting stuck in the mud and I couldn’t afford the fuel, you gave me a Bible I couldn’t read, you gave me a well that made me sick because the water in it was contaminated, you immunised me with a vaccine that left me vulnerable to the diseases we actually get around here and you gave me a toilet that emptied into the only fresh water in the area. All I needed was a plough blade for my ox-pulled plough.” The charity workers look at him and say “Why didn’t you tell us?” And the farmer sneeringly replies, “I did but you thought you knew better than an black farmer whose family has been ploughing this land for generations.”

The problem with charities like Invisible Children is they are launching a campaign that is based on emotive manipulation that cons people into giving money for a cause that doesn’t address the basic issues facing people in Uganda NOW but is just another case of white people who are so bloody arrogant they think they know what’s best for these people. Of course, if you dare to criticize these charities they abuse and vilify you for questioning the legitimacy of such aid by calling you being heartless, pro-Kony or some other crap like that.

8 03 2012
Kony 2012 :: Under Construction « Let Me Be Frank-E With You

[...] Two blog posts I came across that highlight a different side of Invisible Children, leaving you uncertain about the goals, structure, and spending of IC. Blog #1 and Blog #2. [...]

8 03 2012
#KONY2012 / You're An Idiot! | Rants | Rob's Legacy

[...] Kony is on the run, having been pushed out of Uganda, and it’s likely he will soon be caught, if he isn’t already dead. But killing Kony won’t fix anything, just as killing Osama bin Laden didn’t end terrorism. The [...]

8 03 2012
Kony 2012 - Propaganda

[...] [...]

8 03 2012
brad

@ Jake we have people here in the US that are starving, sick and can’t afford medical attention, that just need HELP!! I got out of the message that its good to help just do Ur research know what you’re supporting before just jumping on the band wagon!

8 03 2012
Genevieve

Does the Western country have a syndrome of being an hero and always rescue others poor country from themselve ?

8 03 2012
Niki

I am grateful for IC, with out them the world would have no idea about the LRA. The thing that i wonder about is how Kony is Ill and dying.
If he is in fact dying, then how come he is going from country to country killing and raping and abducting children??? And if he is defeated, then why did the USA put 100 of its troops in the countries Kony is fighting???

8 03 2012
Kelly

Remember when Osama Bin Laden was said to have been on dialysis and hiding in caves? neither were apparently true…

8 03 2012
Formerchristianatheist

I appreciate your point of view, and clearly you know much more about Uganda and the problems there than I do. But, what I take away from the Kony2012 message is this: that it is more about bringing an evil man to justice than it is about stopping any current atrocities he may be committing. Yes, perhaps Kony is yesterday’s news. Perhaps our efforts are better directed elsewhere in order to help other children and issues. BUT, if he is succesfully brought to justice and give the ICC some real teeth, that might cause others who would behave as he did to pause and consider their future in the ICC as well.

By not bringing Kony to justice, the message we send to anyone else who wants to be a warlord is that you can eventually get away with it.

8 03 2012
KONY 2012 : Changer le système par le système? » Another Report

[...] c’est son avis personnel et un résumé de ce qui est dit dans cet article, et cet carticle notament. [...]

8 03 2012
ben

“Matt (18:36:46) :
how is it non profit when only 31% of the money they make actually goes to helping people?”

non profit doesn’t mean what it sounds like it would mean. first, the people at the top usually make a wage, and rely on volunteers to keep costs down, it still costs money to operate, buy film equipment, buy plane tickets, host web pages etc. what is left goes to the actual cause. it’s a misleading term. but the point is “non-profit” doesn’t mean no one working for the cause makes money and that everything donated goes directly to the cause. it means the organization doesn’t accumulate it’s own money like a business does.

8 03 2012
I am not a sheep!

The video is about Kony 2012 and Obama 2012!

8 03 2012
ennahtrinidad

Reblogged this on WONDERLAND and commented:
READ. AND WATCH THIS LINK.

8 03 2012
Mariah

I would like to use this as a source for a paper. What are/were your resources for this?

8 03 2012
Nada

You’re dumb. Self-centered kids don’t go there. They don’t pick random people. You have to help raise a bunch of money.

8 03 2012
Bob

We are commanded to care for the helpless, sick and needy; however, the classic western approach of throwing money at a problem or breezing in for a few days on a mission or humanitarian aid trip is not the answer. It makes us feel good, but as described above can devolve into something that is ultimately harmful. Check out http://www.whenhelpinghurts.org/ for a better model.

8 03 2012
Kony 2012 « Ellie Ann

[...] Thoughts on Kony by Travis Curtice [...]

8 03 2012
Steven

The real bummer is that the Invisible Children video is misleading. I was just as moved by it as many people, and knee-jerk donated right away.

To learn that much of what was cited happened years ago, and that the situation has changed significantly, calls the campaign’s credibility into question.

I applaud the author of this article for having the courage to publish some unpleasant truths.

I will make a donation to Steve Hoyt at Engineering Ministries International (eMi).

8 03 2012
Papa G
8 03 2012
Head Tale - Kony 2012 (and some thoughts on Inactive Activism)

[...] NGO, often quite humorously. The people behind the video were blatant self-promoters.  They mis-represented many facts including how many child soliders were involved and the location of Kony (not even in Uganda [...]

8 03 2012
Alyssa

I’ve read your thoughts and I agree, but disagree at the same time. No, this is no scam. Great. You’ve been there and you have one perspective, but you haven’t gone to get the story from the horse’s mouth. Go to http://s3.amazonaws.com/www.invisiblechildren.com/critiques.html for a full explanation from the foundation itself. They know there’s a bunch of criticism out there and they want to have a transparent, open discussion.

The last section of the site states:

“We’ve done our utmost to be as inclusive, transparent, and factual as possible. We built this organization with “seeing is believing” in mind, and that’s what why we are a media-based organization. We WANT you to see everything we are doing, because we are proud of it. Though we would no longer consider ourselves naive, we have always sought counsel from those who know much more. We have NEVER claimed a desire to “save Africa,” but, instead, an intent to inspire Western youth to “do more than just watch.” And in Central Africa, focus on LOCALLY-LED LONG-TERM development programs that ENABLE children to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for their own futures and the futures of their countries. Our programs are carefully researched and developed initiatives by incredible members of the local community that address the need for QUALITY EDUCATION, MENTORSHIP, the REDEVELOPMENT of schools, RESETTLEMENT from the camps, and REHABILITATION from war – and if you know anyone who has been there to see it first hand, there is no doubt they will concur. Also, we have invited you to join us on LRACrisisTracker.com, which we established as a way to bring you near real-time reports from the ground, making available to the public the same information received by humanitarians working on the ground.

But, credibility in the eyes of policymakers, fellow non-profit workers, LRA-affected communities, and YOU is our most important asset, so we would like to encourage you, if you have critiques, to get specific: find facts, dig deeper, and we’ll gladly continue the conversation from there. If encountering something you disagree with, suggest an alternative to what we are doing- and we will absolutely take heed. If it’s a matter of opinion, taste, humor, or style: we apologize, and will have to agree to disagree. As the poet Ke$ha says, “we are who we are.”

Let’s focus on what matters, and what we DO agree on: Joseph Kony needs to be stopped. And when that happens, peace is the limit. This is the beautiful beginning of an ending that is just the beginning. We are defending tomorrow. And it’s hopeful.” (Some emphasis added.)

8 03 2012
Demand Photography

[...] The Visible Problem with the Invisible Children [...]

8 03 2012
Jennifer Kohl Bohn

And once again, you don’t know what’s really going on until you do your own research. Thanks Shelly!

8 03 2012
Brittany Soup

As far as Joseph Kony, you don’t feel like he deserves repercussions for the injustices he caused? Even if it is old news, which am not agreeing with entirely, You feel like a rapist, murderer, and torturer should be left to live his “fulfilling” life in freedom? I don’t. That is what Kony 2012 is about. Bring justice to the millions of lives he has ruined.

8 03 2012
8 03 2012
Taylor

I want the African people to see that the rest of the world will not allow Kony’s crimes to go unpunished. Waiting around for him to die in the jungle is not enough. He should have to face his victims personally in a judiciary setting. It may be that IC is not the most reputable organization, but I support their goal of capturing Kony.

8 03 2012
whiskey4

It’s too bad nobody has the guts to spend over $1,000,000 producing a viral campaign about the millions of slaves to a broken healthcare and rigged voting systems in the United States of America.

17 03 2012
robmorganaust

Why is it that Americans and westerners in general are so quick to nominate as the world’s police force and judiciary? Sorry, but the world is right now leaving thousands of equally vicious crimes go unpunished – it’s tragic, but it’s what the world does.

The IC’s goal of capturing Kony is just that – the IC’s goal. It’s not the most important goal of the people in the region, and they’re now finding their own voices. And, plenty of people have been trying to delivery on this “new” IC goal for years, with limited success (including US military staff).

8 03 2012
8 03 2012
KONY 2012 = o mare păcăleală « Be Stupid.

[...] Dacă nu v-aţi convins, poate vreţi să citiţi asta. Uganda is no longer experiencing violence from the LRA. Yes, I said it. It’s an uncomfortable [...]

8 03 2012
Invisible Children and Visible Egos: White Masculinity on International Women’s Day « Not In My Backyard

[...] For the next 30 minutes of my life, I was bombarded with propaganda. My heart-strings were manipulatively tugged at by a cute, blonde five-year-old and some neo-colonial rhetoric about how “we, the [Western] people” have the power to use social media for good. I love democracy as much as the next girl, but I don’t appreciate that our International Women’s Day has been hijacked by a handful of white, middle-class American males and a  moral crusade that reeks of White Man’s Burden. [...]

8 03 2012
Kim Clarke

I sense racial undertones throughout this whole diatribe.

8 03 2012
Tim

Whatever side of the debate you are on, this is an article you should read!

It is the official response from Invisible children to all of the critique they have received. This should help you make an informed decision.

http://invisible.tumblr.com

8 03 2012
fucker

To all you dumbfucks that are bitching about the article being “outdated” or how he is wrong, remember that he said he wrote most of this years ago.

8 03 2012
Courtney

while i agree that there may be a need to reevaluate where and why aid is sent, i am noticing one thing in your presentation: where are your sources? you mention several entities, yet not the precise documents and pages that you found your information on, something i think is extremely hypocritical considering a few of your main points

8 03 2012
mark

Well here is a simple question, how many of you have actually met and spoken to someone who has personal been involved in the LRA? Have any of you actually sat and listened to what they have gone through? Have you seen what happens when they do something wrong in the eyes of joseph kony? Do you see the impact of people like him daily? I’m currently studying my diploma of business at college in australia and one of the students if from uganda and was kidnaapped into the LRA. I sat down with him and spoke to him and he told me why his right hand was missing:

I was told to kill another child soldier who wouldn’t follow orders, but because i hessitated, after i shot this child my punishment for hessitating was they cut off my hand as a warning to do what i was told when i was told.

When I asked him about his views on IC and what they are doing he said:

I am glad that someone has seen what has happened over the years and is making it known.

He is glad that someone from a over indulged country is taking the time to tell other about what has happened to the children of uganda. When I told him the negative feedback this group has received this is what he said word for word:

If it were a child in america were stolen from there home wouldn’t the parents make every affort to find them? If their daughters were used as sex slaves and sex rewards for the soldier wouldn’t their parents be wanting the person behind it all in gaol? Would they just give up on the child? Wouldn’t they go to the media and ask for the childs return? So why is it that when a country like uganda has their childrens problems shown, people have to be negative about it. Its not that they are targeting the problems of uganda, but making people see what us children in uganda have to live with.
This comming from a man who 2 years after being kidnapped from his home was forced to tie up, torture and then murder his own parents, I think he has a point. If our child were to go missing we would be up in arms and if our child was murdered we would want justice. That’s what IC wants, justice for the 30,000 children. Uganda ISNT getting any money or aid, the children are the ones who will benefit from this group.

8 03 2012
Steven

Check out this video. Talks about the real meaning behind the KONY 2012 project.

9 03 2012
Fred Fighter

There are several false statements made in that video. Perhaps the most egregious is that only 31% of IC money goes to their charity. That is factually incorrect. 31% goes to direct aid to Ugandans. IC’s mission is to publicize Kony’s atrocities. Most of their money goes into that effort.

The US government may be motivated by Ugandan oil, but IC is certainly not.

The story that 12000 US soldiers were sent to Libya is on an Iranian Government news agency page and copied on several other blogs and other propaganda services. If no legitimate news agency will carry the story, should we not conclude that it is false?

IC does not defend atrocities committed by the Ugandan and South Sudanese military. But I ask ‘BreathoSalvation’, what alternative is there to kill or capture Kony?

IC has never claimed that all donations will be used in direct aid. They make it clear that there primary activity to publicize the story.

Where did ‘BreathoSalvation’ get the funding to produce their own slick video in only a few days time?

BTW, despite their criticisms, BrethoSalvation is not opposed to donations to IC.

FF

8 03 2012
Darin Sullivan

Reblogged this on The Left Hack and commented:
Important other side to the Kony/Invisible children story

8 03 2012
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8 03 2012
klarnebel

“But what would happen when you arrived and discovered that there was none of this”

To stick with your analogy: Even after 11 Years i could still help building the new tower.
As you quite accurately said, there are new, other problems and as far as i know (not only by the information on the site of invisible children) they are doing exactly that. They fight the other problems. (e.g. building schools)

8 03 2012
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9 03 2012
Montana Hanna

Okay James, listen, that’s great that you have an opinion on things and i respect that 100 percent, however i would rather you get the facts straight. First thing, you dont know if those boys researched or not. Two, i believe those people had more courage than most of us today. they wanted to make a change in the world. so they tried. they might not have done it or they might have made it worse, but they tried! i have been on my Facebook for a while and i am tired of seeing people saying bad things about invisible children. They are more people than we will ever be. Three, we are ONE world. That means we all have each others back. When one country is going down we support it. Wouldn’t you like the help from other countries if we had nothing, our population was decreasing and people were getting murdered, raped and were suffering. Would you just stand around and watch it all and say “oh hey look that lady just got raped in front of her whole family!” i know i am only 16 and still in high school. but i know that we “children” are trying to make our country and world a better place. i just dont think you have any right to judge people on that. God put us here on this Earth to be a family, to love one another and care and support each other. Does that mean we leave Uganda and the people suffering out! No it means we help them. Give them everything we can. Adults think they know so much, but what they dont know is that we are the future and it is future that we are trying to change. we are trying to pick the older generations mistakes. Joseph Kony was a bad man that needed to be stopped for what he did to all those people. We might not have been aware of the situation right when it happened, but at least we know now and people are stopping it from continuing. i can sit here all day and pick piece by piece what was wrong and false about your article. But because i believe people have the right to say what they want, i wont. We do have freedom of speech. and because of that i would just like to say a few things..think about how to help others and not yourself. Think of how much you have compared to what others have. those kids in Africa are not able to grow up like us. so why dont we give back and at least help try to fix that, instead of sitting here writing a long article about what other people did wrong. Another thing, instead of picking out the bad things of what those courageous boys did, maybe you could sit back and learn from them. Lastly, us “kids” can do so many more things you think we can do. we ARE the future and we are taking the future in our own hands and changing it. So again, sit back and enjoy the ride.
Thank you for your time, have a splendid day.
Very respectfully,
~Montana Hanna

9 03 2012
Michelle Black

I feel that abuse can’t be rated. And since problems are fixed from the inside out, I just wish the video would have encouraged us to start by becoming active in our own communities in ADDITION to raising awareness… imagine if instead of focusing on who has accomplished what, we were scrambling to the nearest community center to see how we could help, here, since we obviously can’t help there. And maybe THAT would inspire others to do the same, or at least be more aware of it… and that’s how Uganda will have to fix their problem too.. killing Kony will be a temporary *victory* but the underlying problems would still remain. Why not make this a rescue mission as opposed to a manhunt – on a global scale since this is a global issue… some cases more extreme than others, but the less extreme cases are no less harmful or damaging. There’s a Big Brother / Big Sister association in pretty much every town.. we can start here. Little effort, big change.

And tweeting / posting / researching / trying to understand their situation is what I’ve done for days, yet I’m doing it from my couch and it really isn’t helping those children. So that’s where I see a disconnect… know we want to help but it isn’t as easy as just going after him…

And while I started out unbiased, I’m beginning to develop a bit of a distaste for the nature of the campaign that almost sounds like a presidential election title :/

BUT allll this said I respect everyone’s feelings and realize that we all care.. how could anyone not, really. So I respect all sides, all organizations trying to make a difference.

9 03 2012
Nick Martin

I really don’t think the issue is about how prevalent Kony still is or how the NGO spends their money. After all capturing Kony means Justice is served, the training of Ugandan troops by the U.S. military hopefully adds stability to an area scarred by war, a precedent is set that crimes against humanity will have a consequence. If you need some sort of monetary validation for why there is a shared benefit in doing the right thing: Access to new and stable markets lifts the tide for all boats. Tell me how those reasons don’t justify dedicating 100 soldiers to train military personnel of our allies in that region.

Beyond that this introduces the issues in Africa to poeple that would otherwise never discuss the matter.

I was inspired to outline the rest of my thoughts here:

http://nickbmartin.com/2012/03/09/why-we-must-care-about-kony-regardless-of-the-critics/

9 03 2012
momohatsana

The video did simplify things to get people’s attention and create awareness.

A 30-minute video cannot explain over 20 years of conflict or 9 years of IC’s work towards these kids. You have to watch other videos of theirs where they do talk and address the questions that you guys are throwing. There are over 200 videos of IC and they talk about “education”, “ rehabilitation”, “American arrogance”, etc.

And KONY 2012 is about KONY. It’s not about solving all of Uganda’s or Africa’s or the world’s problem. This is just one of their objectives. The others are to help the children and to equip them with a better future. View their other videos about the towers, scholarships, schools, etc.

This is just one of the problem in this million and one problematic world of ours, but IC decided to focus on one that they believed in and pushed it. Because of this video it is actually acting as a platform for other NGOs, governments, volunteers, local initiatives to share their side of the story that no one really had an interest in. It’s regenerating interest in an area where the interest was waning.

Sure there are other really big problems out there, but if one group can work on trying to solve one, then maybe the rest of us who are not convinced by this, can work on something else.

It’s creating conversation and opinions that are not just about trivial things but about real human issues and lives. If others are worried that this kind of campaign is disempowering their own voices, then that’s not the case. In fact this will give more leverage to the local and global initiatives to bring more focus, investment, funding to these kinds of cause that need attention but haven’t gotten it because it is low on priority or interest!

Or maybe we have become too cynical about anything that has real heart in it!

9 03 2012
Digi

i think they should change their policy of foreign aid , That won’t change much , India and China and South korea were as poor as African nations for long years …. Since its not foreign aid which changed them , its more or less just business and the development of native industries , For the long term growth of a nation , we cannot ignore commerce and industrial sector , Sure there is huge corruption in the systems in India, China, Indomesia but they will be fixed someday … There has to be a better solution for all this ,, Surely

9 03 2012
LM

If you don’t suggest donating money and other resources or traveling to these countries what do you suggest for those who do want to help?

9 03 2012
Peter Parker

I think good is coming out of the combination of this blog and the video, because it caused people to not only be aware of things more important than who won the elimination battle on The Voice, but it also caused people to do some research and actually try and find the facts rather than just be overwhelmed by a convincing video or well written blog. And instead of arguing about how the IC is so inefficient I suggest starting your own or finding a charity that is efficient in your eyes and support it, help change the world, not sit on your computer chair and talk about people who “aren’t”. Thank you and God Bless

9 03 2012
Social Movements: Kony 2012 | Chasing Symbiosis

[...] and hiding. I did a bit of research, and found this to be confirmed by a number of sources, such as this blog post, endorsed by Michel Chikwanine, himself a former child soldier who now speaks for Free the [...]

9 03 2012
Jackie

This is my reply for now, I have a lot of my own thoughts and perspective. I have not had a lot of schooling but I am smart and I have a global and peace filled mind. Google Kony and read all the different perspectives, news, criticisms and more! I support parts of this article and I challenge other parts. Regardless of the logistics, details, corruption, fear and more, Kony needs to be stopped on a global awareness scale!

9 03 2012
[Case Study] Kony 2012 – Quando è virale non si può fermare | SinCity – AcrossNowhere

[...] The visible Problem of Invisible Children – Questo articolo risale al 2006, ma è ancora abbastanza attuale, soprattutto perché spiega che Invisible Children è in ritardo sui problemi dell’Uganda. Era in ritardo già nell’anno della sua fondanzione, il 2004 [...]

9 03 2012
Luke

The reason I throw my support to the IC is I want to see an evil man pay for his crimes against humanity. If that’s foolish or misinformed then I suppose I am.

9 03 2012
ben

first i’m offended, that you’ld refer to a human issue as ‘their problem’. am from kenya and as such i do fancy myself as somewhat an expert on african issues.
First you need to understand that the problems in most third world countries is as a result of poor policy making by nations in the west, like yours. Through a blind pursuit of their interests they have supported dictatorships, despots and allowed the arming of rebels if only to lead to chaos that will better serve their interests.
Therefore in my opinion your government has a role to play in the cleaning up of the mess it has fostered in african countries not necessarilly in terms of funding but also in better policy making.
I choose to assume that policy is people driven in your country. Therefore IC may be wide off the mark but certain issues they do get somethings right. The youth in the west need to get away if only for a moment from pop culture and recognise that there are wars going all around, not only armed conflict, but also hunger, slavery and other issues. Only through interacting with other societies can they develop ideas that can be communicated to your policy makers.
By seeking to presume that charity is a lost cause because you stumbled unto a market selling donated items shows your skewed perception of the african story. We are willing to work and you should us as an enterprising population stripped of means. And in closing rather than criticising IC, speak of a way foward.

9 03 2012
Kony 2012 - Page 4 - BabyandBump

[...] It was a good idea, but sadly its like educating people about 9/11 now, all these years later. http://ilto.wordpress.com/2006/11/02…ible-children/ "And back to Uganda. Uganda is no longer experiencing violence from the LRA. Yes, I said it. [...]

9 03 2012
nick14alpha

Idiot.

Just because he’s nt a threat anymore doesnt mean he shouldnt be caught. What if Hitler had simply moved to China? You think the world would have let him.

Idiot.

9 03 2012
Global Awareness: Kona 2012 | My Ambience

[...] Whether you choose to support Invisible Children, that is completely up to you, but at least now, you know a little more. If you think supporting Invisible Children is a scam, then that’s fine, do your research, it’s your money after all, heck, here are some links for you to look at below for more info! For me, it is about global awareness and spreading the knowledge about these atrocities that is the most important. There are several other programs out there, so look into them and find something that fits you! whether its locally or internationally! 1) Charity Navigator 2) Invisible Children: Critiques 3) Visible problems of Invisible Children [...]

9 03 2012